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The City of Cape Town in collaboration with PRASA and the Rail Safety Regulator, realigned Frederick Street as a short-term safety measure to reduce the risk of train-vehicle crashes at the Buttskop level crossing in Blackheath.
The realignment of Frederick Street came at a cost of approximately R2,7 million. The realignment of this street is a short-term solution that will significantly improve pedestrian safety at the level crossing as recommended by the Rail Safety Regulator.
Ultimately, the proposal is to do away with the said crossing altogether. The preliminary design of the level crossing elimination was completed at the end of 2019.
Eskom also had to relocate an electricity pole, which was standing in the middle of the road and posed a risk to road users.
The Buttskop Road level crossing is one of ten boom-controlled level crossings in Cape Town, and it counts as the second busiest of all of these level crossings. There have been two serious train-and-vehicle crashes over the past nine years, in which 17 people tragically lost their lives.
All booms and signalling equipment are operated by PRASA.
‘I must state upfront that while the realignment of Frederick Street will improve the general safety of those who use this crossing, it is a short-term solution only, and it does not eliminate the level crossing, nor does it alleviate congestion. We have plans for a more permanent solution, which includes the construction of a bridge over the railway line, the realignment of Buttskop Road and the extension of Zevenwacht Link Road between Van Riebeeck Road and Albert Philander Street. This will see a substantial increase in overall safety for all road users and will address congestion,’ said the City’s Mayoral Committee Member for Transport, Alderman Felicity Purchase.
'The Western Cape region rail network has the most level crossings in the country. Every measure taken to eliminate or safeguard a crossing makes the road and rail safer for commuters, employees and road users and has our full support and gratitude. We urge road users to exercise caution and to comply with traffic signage for their safety,’ said Metrorail’s Regional Manager in the Western Cape, Raymond Maseko.
The estimated cost to eliminate the level crossing is R80 million.
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