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Residents fed up with speeding, reckless driving on Herrwood Drive

Residents say there have been a number of serious accidents at various intersections of Herrwood Drive.

EXCESSIVE speeding, residential roads being used as an informal race track to access the M4, and lack of law enforcement were just some of the concerns raised by uMhlanga residents last week on Herrwood Drive.

According to residents, there have been a number of serious accidents at various intersections of Herrwood Drive, two of which have led to fatalities in the last year alone.

Just last week, a City-appointed contractor erroneously painted a stop sign/lines on the northbound and soundbound lanes at the intersection of Mahogany Drive and Herrwood Drive, thus making it a four-way stop.

While this was later rectified, residents have called on the eThekwini Municipality to look at installing speed-calming measures or to look at the possibility of redesigning the road to incorporate roundabouts or traffic lights.

Also read: uMhlanga traffic congestion raise concerns

They have also called on the City to look at including lay-bys to accommodate taxis stopping on the road.

Sagren Pillay, a member of the Ward 35 committee, whose portfolio is roads and stormwater, said residents are at their wit’s end.

“When we initially saw the stop lines/signs being painted on the road, we thought the City had answered our calls to address speeding on Herrwood Drive. Because people were not accustomed to stopping, they weren’t adhering to the road markings. That was when we emailed the municipality about the matter, saying there were no stop-sign poles, which was also causing confusion. They said the painted stop signs/lines were put down in error. They were later painted over. What we are asking for is some sort of traffic-calming measure to curb speeding. We’ve had two fatal crashes on Herrwood Drive and one in which a driver crashed his vehicle and absconded,” Pillay said.

Fellow ward committee member Jacques Poupard also raised concerns about the informal race track that starts on the M4 and goes through Herrwood Drive and Portland Drive.

Also read: More bays needed for uMhlanga temporary taxi rank

“As residents, we’ve continuously called for speed-calming measures – we’ve asked for speed humps or rumble strips. We would also welcome traffic lights or roundabouts or whatever lends itself to be the most effective and safest measure. We have been told the road doesn’t meet the criteria due to the road classification. The suggestion is to reclassify the road. In the absence of that, the City needs to put measures in to slow the traffic down. We also urge the City to consider installing lay-bys to allow taxis to pull in to drop off and pick up passengers rather than stopping on the road,” he said.

In a written response to Northglen News, the eThekwini Municipality spokesperson Gugu Sisilana explained the error of the painted stop lines/signs on Herrwood Drive. “The stop lines that were painted on Herrwood Drive at the intersection of Mahogany Road were done in error by the contractor. Upon finding out about it, the contractor was immediately instructed to remove the incorrect markings. These markings have been painted out in black and will be sandblasted. This corrective action will be done at the contractor’s cost,” she said.

Sisilana added that speed humps would not be an option on Herrwood Drive.

“Herrwood Drive is a major road, and speed humps are not permitted in terms of the City’s Traffic Calming Policy which is consistent with national practice. It should also be noted that Herrwood Drive is scheduled for an upgrade to deal with capacity constraints. The introduction of speed humps, which reduces road capacity, will defeat the object of upgrading the road.”

She urged residents to contact Metro Police about speeding and the informal race track.

“Residents are urged to call Metro Police at 031 3610000 to report illegal racing so a team can be dispatched to enforce as and when it happens.”


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