Alternative Routes to e Toll Freeways

Pretoria - The Gauteng Department of Roads and Transport on Thursday launched its campaign to popularise no-toll routes, so that motorists in the province are not unduly prejudiced when the e-toll system is implemented on 3 December.

As part of its preparations, the department has upgraded a number of alternative roads to the portions of the freeway network earmarked for tolling.

The no-toll routes will be popularised on a number of media platforms so that the public can have a choice when using the provincial road network.

Departmental Head of Communications, Octavia Mamabolo, said: "The reality in our province is that the vast majority of residents use public transport such as taxis, buses and trains for daily commuting to work and home."

The department said road based public transport operators were exempted from the toll fees and this should have no adverse impact on commuter travel fares.

The department further assured the public that it will maintain the alternative, provincial routes to an acceptable and safe level on an on-going basis. It quelled concerns that the secondary road network will be degraded through the anticipated increase in traffic volumes on these routes.

The provincial government has supported the freeway improvement project for the socio-economic benefits of the project to the province and its people.

The Gauteng Department of Transport unveiled a revamped road network that could serve as an alternative to the toll routes, showcasing the M57 that connects Ekurhuleni to Pretoria.

An estimated R50 million has been set aside to re-surface and widen this provincial road that runs parallel to the R21.

The dual-carriageway R55, between Johannesburg and Pretoria, is also in the process of being upgraded.

The single-lane old Pretoria Road has been suggested as an alternative when travelling from Johannesburg to Pretoria, however, the road is already quite congested.

Road users travelling from Soweto to Sandton would mainly be affected by N12 gantries and alternative suggestions include using the Golden Highway off-ramp via Xavier to Booysens.

Alternatively, travellers could head via Empire road onto the M1 to re-join the highway for the Sandton route.