Toll road objections

Posted On Wednesday, 12 November 2003 02:00 Published by eProp Commercial Property News
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The Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry has written to the Minster of Environmental Affairs and Tourism to register its strong objections to plans to turn sections of the N1 and N2 into toll roads

Infrastructure IndustryThe Cape Town Regional Chamber of Commerce and Industry has written to the Minster of Environmental Affairs and Tourism to register its strong objections to plans to turn sections of the N1 and N2 into toll roads.

The objection follows the recent favourable environmental impact report on the construction of toll plazas on the national roads and on the R300.

Sections of all these roads fall within the Unicity and the chamber is concerned about the negative impact on the communities living along the routes and on the increased cost of transporting fruit and wine to the harbour for export.

In his letter to the Minister, Mr Albert Schuitmaker, director of the Cape Regional Chamber, said "We believe improvements are needed for the road system, but the best and most equitable way to finance them is through a levy on fuel." This was widely recognised as the fairest form of user charge.

He said the revenue from the levy could be used to finance the building of new roads and major upgrades of existing roads.

The communities along the routes of the toll roads were strongly opposed to the tolling of these roads and if motorists and truckers found other routes to avoid paying toll feels the result would be the divertion of traffic through residential areas creating environmental damage in the form of noise and nuisance as well as safety problems. In addition the local authority would have to shoulder the extra costs of maintaining the affected roads.

He said the argument that the toll plazas would create jobs was a narrow and short-sighted view. "The way to create jobs is to stimulate the growth of the entire economy of the Western Cape by smoothing the way for business, especially for exporting which brings in foreign revenue. To create a few short-term jobs on the one hand and to stifle the economy in the longer term it is not acceptable.

"The Chamber does not believe in tolling roads in the urban commuter catchment area. The communities in these areas are too dependent on these roads for their continued employment and/or survival business activities."

Mr Schuitmaker said the Chamber was aware that many toll roads had been created in South Africa. "We have reviewed the impact of these toll roads and concluded that such roads should not be introduced in urban catchment areas."

 

Last modified on Tuesday, 05 November 2013 17:08

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