Paper presented at the 26th Annual Southern African Transport Conference 9 - 12 July 2007 "The challenges of implementing policy?", CSIR International Convention Centre, Pretoria, South Africa. ABSTRACT:Millions of hours and associated costs are wasted each year through traffic congestion. Congestion characterizes most of the urban road transportation systems around the world. The problem concerns the whole spectrum of the community as evident from the dominance in technical papers on the issue presented at transportation professional conferences and the articles appearing in the media and other forums. Congestion dates back as far as the time of increased and preferential use of private automobiles by the mass population.
More worrying is that the situation appears to worsen with time despite the strenuous and combined efforts by transport sector stakeholders to alleviate the congestion problem. This is attributed to the fact that causes of congestion transcend the technical issues and more often than not, the techniques and strategies that are used to alleviate the problems require large funding, changes in institutional structure, persuasive use of the government power over land use decisions and change in individual travel behaviours (Meyer et al, 1989). Banks (2002) notes that in most cases obvious solutions to congestion are not available or else are considered politically infeasible.
Thus, this paper discusses on the role of transport policy and public participation in traffic congestion management on the road network in South Africa, and in this particular case, with reference to N1 –Ben Schoeman road between Johannesburg and Pretoria.
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