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Ratepayers lose patience at damaged boom delays

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The Muizenberg and Lakeside Ratepayers' Association has slammed Metrorail for its failure to remove the damaged level crossing booms which they said are the cause of heavy traffic delays for motorists and commuters in Albertyn Road in Muizenberg.

The association said yesterday the “chaos” in Albertyn Road began on January 29 after the booms were damaged when a truck struck them.

According to the association, road engineers had advised the Passenger Rail Agency of South African (Prasa) that the “traffic grids” experienced in Muizenberg would be alleviated once the road was reopened.

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NO GO: Albertyn Road has been closed for almost a month since the boom gates were damaged. Picture: COURTNEY AFRICA

They said no emergency signage had been put in place. Muizenberg and Lakeside Ratepayers Association chairperson Robin Solomon said this had been causing chaos for Muizenberg residents.

“We have never heard any word from Prasa. I know the city has spoken to them and the idea was that Prasa would appoint two people like they have got in all other crossings, and allow the traffic to flow reasonably back to where we were. Prasa has been sleeping on the job. They could have got traffic moving three days after the incident,” said Solomon.

He said it was inevitable that the incident was going to happen because of the size of the trucks travelling on the road

“For years residents have been complaining about the big trucks using Albertyn Road. It is not designed for big trucks.

"The original marking for that road is a maximum of three and half tons. And now the situation is worse because those vehicles are going down Vlei Road, which is even smaller than Albertyn Road,” he said.

Metrorail regional manager Richard Walker said the accident caused major damage to relay rooms at Muizenberg, Fish Hoek and Retreat. The truck caused the boom to touch the overhead electrical wires that resulted in 3000 volts of fault current being delivered to the signalling equipment housed in the relay rooms.

This resulted in a total failure of the signalling system between Fish Hoek and Retreat.

“The anticipated time of full service recovery is six to eight months.

"We will continue to update all stakeholders regarding the status of the service on the Southern line and the progress on the recovery and repair work by our technical team,” he said.

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