Contrary to Sanral’s intentions that new kerbing and paved sidewalks along the R72 through Port Alfred would discourage truck drivers from illegally using the shoulder, truck drivers are simply parking on the sidewalk.
Responding to Talk of the Town’s queries last week about a paved sidewalk being cut into Albany Road in the industrial area, regional manager for Sanral Southern Region, Mbulelo Peterson, said among the reasons for narrowing Albany Road at that point was because “there is the likelihood of the passing trucks to use the additional width as a place to stop and pick up passengers. We are trying to discourage this behaviour within the town limits. The introduction of sidewalks is not negotiable and is a safety feature. Kerbs and sidewalks prevent illegal use of the shoulder, as well as safety for pedestrians.”
We pointed out to Peterson that the intention to discourage trucks from stopping illegally and picking up passengers was not working, as truck drivers stop at will in both an east and west direction on Southwell Road outside the Caltex Garage and Fresh Stop (at Van Riebeeck), taking up one lane and being a hazard to vehicles approaching from behind. Trucks also stop at any point on the section of the R72 between Main Street and the Wesley Hill intersection to pick up or drop off passengers.
In response Sanral said: “Sanral cannot comment on law enforcement which is the responsibility of the Road Traffic Inspectorate and SAPS. While we deplore all acts of criminality and acts that endanger road users, it must be stressed that Sanral has no law enforcement mandate or capability.”
TotT followed up with photos taken of a truck which had illegally parked in Southwell Road and partially on the new paved sidewalk across the road from the Caltex Garage last Wednesday evening (August 28), while the driver went shopping at Fresh Stop and Steers. We copied in Ndlambe Municipality’s community protection services directorate, which oversees the traffic department.
Neither Sanral nor the municipality have responded.
The same truck parked in the same spot on Saturday night (August 31).