N2 bypass?

Cornelis Brink, Strand

Norman McFarlane’s opinion piece (“Where is the N2 bypass?, Bolander, Wednesday May 23”) was of interest.

A number of serious points need to be clarified by the SA National Roads Agency Ltd (SANRAL) and the City of Cape Town:

How are the authorities planning to deal with the occupiers, also sometimes called “settlers” within the road reserve of the future N2?

Co-operation between City and Sanral to find alternative land to house the occupants does not seem to make any substantial progress due to the sensitive political issues surrounding relocation of people, as well as the inability of the authorities to constructively work together.

The same problem is faced by Sanral in the case of the proclaimed reserves in other parts of the country, and closer to us, to the proclaimed bypass reserve north of the Knysna CBD, and as was also found during planning of the R300 extension towards Muizenberg.

Construction of new roads in urban areas will only become more problematic, if not impossible, due to demands on land for housing which has become more and more urgent and violent recently.

How will the construction be funded if tolling of roads in the Cape Metro is opposed by the current local government and Sanral also seems not to be in a position to move ahead with any of its planned future toll roads, due to major cost and political reasons – no political backing?

The N1/N2 toll road has rapidly grown into a mega-project that will cost mega-bucks to construct with associated high toll fees.

Major cost components in this project are, inter alia, the Huguenot tunnel upgrade (construction of road and tunnel furniture through second bore) and the cut and cover tunnel in the Paardevlei area.

Questions should be asked why the N7 to Malmesbury is currently being upgraded to a dual carriageway without being funded as a toll road. The N2 should also be upgraded by concentrating on the section that has become critical due to traffic congestion with concomitant high road user cost within the metro.

While Sanral is mostly involved with provision of national roads for long distance travel in South Africa with limited funding from the fiscus, provincial and local governments should contribute costs to projects within urban areas where traffic is local or regional and to lesser extent inter-city or long distance.

This could make a project like the upgrade of the N2 more affordable if it is tackled in smaller sections in co-operation by the authorities.