A INRIX 2018 Global Traffic Scorecard, revealed that Cape Town motorists lost 162 hours in the last year to congestion.
According to the City of Cape Town, in 2018, Capetonians attributed the lengthy periods of time they spent stuck in traffic to population growth and a deteriorating train service among other reasons.
Mayco member for Transport Felicity Purchase said a multi-pronged approach was needed to address traffic congestion.
She said constructing new roads would not alleviate the problem on its own.
Ailing passenger rail
Purchase said while population growth has had a part to play in congestion on the roads, the greater impact was from the deterioration of passenger rail.
“The number of commuters making use of passenger rail has dropped from 620 000 passenger journeys per day in 2014 to less than 300 000 today.”
Efforts to resuscitate the train service as the backbone of public transport, the City of Cape Town have seen the Passenger Rail Agency of SA (Prasa) and the provincial government introduce the Rail Enforcement Unit.
“We expect that as the rail service stabilises and improves, more commuters will return to passenger rail, which will assist a great deal to alleviate congestion on our road network,” said Purchase.
Purchase added that in order to alleviate congestion commuter patterns needed to be changed, either by travelling together, working from home where possible and travelling to and from work outside of peak-hour periods if practical.
“Experience the world over has proven that new roads are usually taken up within a matter of months and that construction cannot stay ahead of the growing demand due to rapid urbanisation. Also, road infrastructure projects take years to complete and cause a lot of inconvenience while ongoing.”
The transport directorate has however spent R750m on road infrastructure projects over a period of five years to address congestion in Kommetjie, Kuils River and Blaauwberg.
A R487m project to upgrade a section of the N1, between Plattekloof Road and Old Oak Interchange, with the addition of a third lane in both directions is expected to be completed by May.
This is expected to significantly reduce traffic congestion, according to the provincial department.