Sandton’s traffic nightmare

EWN investigates a spike in traffic as a result of more companies moving to Sandton.

Sandton traffic. Picture: Christa van der Walt/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - As business owners, employees and motorists become increasingly frustrated with traffic into Sandton, management and the city have commissioned a study to help tackle the problem with a master plan.

This transport month, Eyewitness News investigated a spike in traffic into Sandton as a result of more and more blue-chip companies moving their headquarters to the area.

Eyewitness News spent two weeks sending its reporters travelling from various points into the Primedia building on Gwen Lane during rush hour.

The minimum amount of time a reporter spent in traffic was 49 minutes, which was from Main Reef Road onto the M1 north and then off the Grayston offramp.

It took another reporter a maximum of nearly two hours one way from Centurion onto the N1.

The same trip took 31 minutes on the Gautrain, but the reporter struggled to find an available seat with carriages at capacity.

On average, travelling by car the reporters spent one hour and ten minutes getting into the office, resulting in nearly two and a half hours of lost productivity per day.

SANDTON TRAFFIC TO WORSEN

At the same time, traffic experts say they predict congestion into Sandton will get worse before it gets better as the city continues to densify the area and public transport planning lags behind.

Sandton central business district has commissioned a study and traffic engineer Simon van Jarsveld is in charge of the research.

He says while some roads could be widened or adapted, the real solution is better public transport.

"Road transport can only help you so far, you can't build yourself out of congestion. It's something that can happen up to a certain point then after that you have to have a bigger plan."

Urban planner and lecturer at Wits University Neil Klug agrees the solution is to get motorists out of their own cars.

"Alternatives are tough. If we continue to only cater for the car, history has shown the roads will continue to fill up. It only encourages people to buy cars and use cars in this way and there's only so much space."