Durban ready to manage COP17 traffic

Durban – Transport authorities are confident that there will be no unnecessary traffic delays or problems during the upcoming COP17.

With almost 25 000 people flocking to Durban for the United Nations climate change meeting, the city will be increasingly busy.

Roads Systems Manager at the eThekwini Transport Authority, Carlos Esteves, and Metro Police believe adequate plans have been put into place to manage traffic during this period.

Roads that will be closed for the entire period are: Walnut Rd – Bram Fischer to AB Xuma and one lane on Bram Fischer, Stalwart Simelane and AB Xuma around the ICC.

“The city centre and the area immediately around the ICC precinct will be completely closed to traffic from 8 November to 12 December, but other than that it’s business as usual,” Esteves said.

No other roads will be closed for the event as a whole. Localised traffic management may require temporary closures from time to time during the period, but Metro Traffic will manage the movement of traffic in those cases.

All formal businesses will have appropriate access should any formal closure be required and notices will be provided in advance.

The city has also made environmentally friendly transport options available for COP17 delegates.

An airport shuttle will be in operation from 17 November to 14 December and is open to anybody at R130 per single journey.

It will stop at Gateway, Umhlanga and the Beachfront en route to its final destination at the Central Transport Hub (CTH) at the centrum site in the city centre.

Specially marked COP17 bus stops will be clearly identifiable along all routes. In addition, eight Durban hotels will be selling tickets and will be available from the concierge.

COP17 delegates will be able to travel on all the shuttle buses for free by showing their delegate accreditation on embarking.

Meanwhile, two bike routes have been specially created for the conference period. New designated bike lanes have also been increased for those delegates who wish to ride to the ICC precinct.

The first starts at the Beachfront and follows a route through town to the Climate Change Response Expo then on to the Durban Botanic Gardens.

The other route runs from uShaka Marine World on the northern book-end of the Durban Beachfront, along the Golden Mile, to the Durban Green Hub at Blue Lagoon.

Bike hire is available from a site near uShaka Marine World in the New Addington node, the Green Hub and the Pavilion site on the central beachfront, adjacent to the Durban Tourism information office.

Costs to hire are – R50 per hour, R300 per day and R1 000 per week. Longer rentals are also available. A credit card is essential for hiring and a R500 deposit is required for every hire.

Accredited delegates and media will be allowed into the ICC precinct for the entire period.

Accredited delegate and consular parking is at the ‘Park ‘n Ride’ at the Durban Drive-in site and dedicated shuttles will transport visitors to the ICC and CCR Expo.

Accredited media will be accommodated at the Moses Mabhida Stadium parking in Battery Beach Road, opposite the Kingspark Swimming pool (Mustering Fields parking), from where they can catch the ‘People Mover’ shuttle to the Workshop.

In addition, they can make use of a shuttle to the CTH. Travel on the People Mover is free for accredited delegates on presentation of a delegate card.

The general public will have access to parking at the various parking garages in the city and open parking along the Beachfront. From there, a short walk or use of the People Mover will get them to the CCR Expo site.

Source:- BuaNews – Kemantha Govender – 16 Nov 2011