In addition to interventions at 16 hotspot locations and at railway crossings across the city, the Transport for Cape Town Portfolio Committee on 9 October 2014, has recommended that the City undertake a public participation process for the construction of a pedestrian bridge south of the Nyanga station.

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The recommendations to the Mayoral Committee and the City of Cape Town’s Council follow a comprehensive investigation into pedestrian movement along and across rail lines in the city between April 2013 and May 2014, as per a request from the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA). The movement of cyclists was included in this study as bicycles have to be carried across the rail lines. 

‘It is possible to improve our residents’ safety at rail lines and we are committed to working together with PRASA, the NDoT and Metrorail – with whom we already have a sound relationship – in realising this objective,’ said Councillor Herron.

The study identified 16 hotspot locations across the city in need of intervention where people are crossing rail lines in the absence of formal pedestrian crossings, as well as legal pedestrian and vehicle crossings where the conditions for pedestrians have to be improved. 

‘If, as expected, the Mayoral Committee and Council approve these recommendations, Transport for Cape Town (TCT) will consult and cooperate with PRASA and the National Department of Transport (NDoT) on an implementation programme and action plan for the next five years to address pedestrian safety at railway lines. As per existing legislation, the City, PRASA and the NDoT have different institutional responsibilities and line functions with regard to railway crossings. The collaboration between TCT and these two key role players and Metrorail is thus of vital importance if we want to address the high number of fatalities and injuries due to pedestrians crossing rail lines illegally,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member: Transport for Cape Town, Councillor Brett Herron.

According to Metrorail’s statistics, up to 68 fatalities were recorded in the vicinity of the stations in Nyanga (26), Philippi (15), Heideveld (9), Netreg (9) and Bonteheuwel (9) between 2010 and 2013 as a direct result of pedestrians crossing railway lines at places where there are no formal pedestrian or vehicle crossings.

As such, one of the significant recommendations to the Mayoral Committee and Council is that TCT undertake a public participation process to determine the appropriate location and subsequent budget provision for the construction of a pedestrian bridge south of the Nyanga station where the highest number of fatalities have been recorded over this three-year period.

‘This, in part, will address one of the findings in the study that a large number of people need to cross railway lines on a daily basis and that the provision for formal crossings in areas with high volumes of pedestrians has generally not been given priority,’ said Councillor Herron.