Motorists on Gauteng’s congested roads would switch to public transport systems if at least five new toll roads were constructed on the arterial roads around Johannesburg, a study has found. Are toll roads the key to decreased traffic volumes… or will another approach yield more success?
Motorists on Gauteng’s congested roads would switch to public transport systems if at least five new toll roads were constructed on the arterial roads around Johannesburg, a study has found.
Financial services firm Brait this week reported that the construction of these toll roads would have to be completed at about the same time as the commissioning of the proposed R7-billion Gautrain Rapid Rail Link project. “This will provide commuters with a choice between road or rail transport and also provide a longer-term solution for the transport needs of Gauteng,” quoted from the Brait report.
It proposes erecting toll roads on heavy-traffic roads such as the Ben Schoeman Highway between Johannesburg and Tshwane, the N3 between the Gillooly’s Farm and Buccleuch interchanges in the north of Johannesburg, the N1 from Buccleuch and Randburg and the R21 and R24 between Johannesburg and the industrial heartland of Ekurhuleni in the east.
Economist Colen Garrow, who penned the document, said toll roads would reduce congestion and lead to a reduction of harmful emissions.
‘Holistic approach needed’
Naamsa director Nico Vermeulen agreed in principle with the Brait report, but said that the other way of dealing with congestion in Gauteng was to build more roads to cater for increased traffic.
“The key challenge is to keep public transport reliable, affordable and safe. And it must have comprehensive coverage of all routes,” he said.
Garrow said the benefits of using public transport far out-weighed the disadvantages: “Beyond the financial viability of rail commuter schemes, (other benefits include) alleviation of traffic congestion, reduction of noise and pollution and speed and safety compared with other forms of transport.”
The Gautrain, which will link Johannesburg and Tshwane via Johannesburg International Airport, is expected to create about 1 200 permanent jobs and contribute an estimated R2,6-billion to South Africa’s gross domestic product once in operation.
Original article from Car