PEDALLING: City has already spent R158 million on the construction of cycle lanes and pedestrian walkways.
Cape Town - With less than 10% of Cape Town’s more than 4 million inhabitants using non-motorised transport, the City has already spent R158million on the construction of cycle lanes and pedestrian walkways.

According to the City’s 2016/17 annual report, a draft cycling strategy was prepared last year to increase cycling’s share of transport in Cape Town from the current 1% to 8% by 2030.

An amount of R158 million was spent in 2016/17.

ACDP councillor Grant Haskin however, said the monies could have been spent on the water crisis.

“We have 9% of the City’s population that using non-motorised transport. Less than 10%. Could this money not have been spent on the water crisis and its augmentation schemes,” Haskin said.

During last week’s council meeting Brett Herron, mayco member for urban development and transport, said the funds were conditional grants and could not be spent on other infrastructure.

According to the annual report, monies spent on cycle lanes and pedestrian walkways included:

Central Cape Town: R16596442.

Plantation and Montagues Gift roads: R488837.

Bishop Lavis: R404406126.

Albert Road and Strand Street: R5985400.

Spaanschemat River, Kendal, Ladies Mile and other roads: R36570871.

Francie van Zijl Drive and De La Rey Street: R25363318.

Major roads in Somerset West: R21909669.

Grassy Park: R4701905.

Herron said the budget for non-motorised transport for 2017/18 was, before the January 2018 adjustment, R174.4m.

“This amount was reduced to R126.3m after Council approved the adjustment budget on Wednesday January 31. The funding was reallocated to other transport-related projects. Note that the projects are funded from grant funding appropriated through the public transport network grant from national government.

"These funds may not be used for any other purpose, other than public transport, which includes NMT projects.

"The projects include the provision of pavements where there are none to improve pedestrian safety, and widening of existing pavements where existing ones are too narrow - again, to improve pedestrian safety. The dropping of kerbs to allow for easier access for people with disabilities, etc,” he said.

Pedal Power Association chief executive Robert Vogel said government has to start somewhere in respect of cycling lanes.

“Municipalities are predominantly focused on car transport. Currently about 1% of Capetonians cycle to work. There are plans however to get to around 8%,” he said.

Vogel said the City should prioritise cycles and other non-motorised transport.

Philip Bam, secretary of the Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance, said that in times of a crisis resources should not be spent on unnecessary luxuries.

“We have a water crisis on our hands and we should be pulling all resources together to ensure we don’t run out of water. We also need to look at our road network before we add cycling lanes. One important element is that cycling lanes should be linked with other transport modes like trains,” he said.

[email protected]

Cape Argus