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Changing lanes to ease Ben Schoeman traffic
A pilot project aimed at easing traffic congestion on the N1 highway between Pretoria and Johannesburg comes into effect on October 23.

Traffic experts predict that the project - in which the right hand lane will be made a high-occupancy vehicle lane - will help the flow of traffic.

Transport MEC Ignatius Jacobs announced details of the project on Monday. He said the project would be launched along the 36km stretch of highway between the two cities in observation of October as Public Transport Month.

The Johannesburg-Tshwane corridor between the John Vorster and Buccleuch interchanges carries between 120 000 and 180 000 vehicles each day.


The head of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (Sanral), Nazir Ali, said the dedicated lane was intended to encourage motorists to share transport or make more use of public transport to reduce traffic congestion between October 23 - 27.

"The dedicated lane is meant to allow and accommodate vehicles carrying two or more occupants or public-transport vehicles such as taxis and buses. The dedicated lane will not be open to heavy freight vehicles," he said.

The traffic authorities are hoping for extensive support from the media. Alfred Nhlapo, spokesperson for Jacobs, said the high occupancy lanes would be well advertised ahead of time and motorists would be informed by means of pamphlets.

"We intend to use the broadcast media very intensively and also interact with the public," he said.

The transport department had already bought media space "for interviews" and Sanral was planning to use its own publicity to promote the pilot project, he said.

"Already they have placed huge adverts in the media," said Nhlapo.
Confident that the pilot project would be a success, he said he believed all planning was in place and ready for October 23.

Colin Msibi, spokesperson for Transport Minister Jeff Radebe, said the ministry was unaware of any problems relating to the highway traffic pilot projects, but that it would be up to the Metro Police to uphold the traffic rules and police the situation.

Metro Police spokesperson Edna Mamonyane said it was the Metro Police's duty to police the freeways and that they were committed to supporting the MEC in his quest to make peak-hour traffic journeys as easy as possible for motorists. "If there are any offences committed within our jurisdiction we will issue citations without hesitation."


This article was originally published on page 1 of Pretoria News on October 03, 2006

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