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Cape Town SA's most congested city ... again

24 March 2016 - 09:04 By MATTHEW SAVIDES

Until public transport is beefed up in Cape Town motorists will have to grin and bear their hour-long drives to and from work as they gaze lovingly at Table Mountain.This is according to the DA spokesman on transport, Manny de Freitas, speaking yesterday after the release of the fifth edition of the TomTom Traffic Index.TomTom, which used data from last year, said that Cape Town was the most congested city in South Africa for the third year running.Of 174 countries ranked globally on congestion, Cape Town was 47th.The report said Cape Town motorists spent 152 extra hours a year behind the wheel because of traffic congestion. This translates to more than six extra days in traffic over a year, or an extra 40 minutes a day.Motorists in Johannesburg, which was ranked second in South Africa, spend an extra 35 minutes in traffic a day - or 134 extra hours a year. East London was in third spot, with its motorists spending an extra 27 minutes breathing exhaust fumes.Traffic congestion has eased in Durban and Pretoria, TomTom said, thanks largely to new road infrastructure.Mexico City is the world's most congested city. Motorists can spend more than nine unnecessary days in traffic over a year. Bangkok was second, the Polish city of Lodz third and three Brazilian cities were in the top 10."Cape Town is definitely the most congested city," said De Freitas. "You have the mountain in the way, which limits the number of routes into and out of the city bowl, which is where most people travel to and from.""The solution is to get people into public transport but this will not happen if it is perceived as unsafe, unreliable, not clean and so on."He said the Gautrain was a perfect example of this. Even though it was expensive, it was an extremely popular mode of transport. BIG BRO ON THE ROADTechnology and social media are at the heart of the Western Cape government's efforts to reduce road deaths over Easter.Transport MEC Donald Grant said yesterday that 452km of roads were now covered by speed-over-distance cameras, with two new sections of the N2 joining the R61, R27 and N1.Automatic number-plate recognition cameras and hand-held devices that allow traffic officers to verify information about drivers and vehicles quickly are important aspects of the plan, said Grant. Thirty-five body-and dashboard-mounted cameras would provide live streaming video to operations centres.Provincial traffic chief Kenny Africa said vehicle and documentation checkpoints would be set up. - Staff reporter..

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