More congestion for south peninsula motorists

Wednesday, 21 September 2016 15:51
More congestion for south peninsula motorists
CHAPMANS PEAK IS CLOSED
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Updated 4/18/2021 05:42:50
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People of the South Peninsula - you've chosen a lifestyle. The idyllic beautiful residential zone of the South Peninsula - community and family oriented, close to beaches and mountains and services.  People in the Beautiful South are becoming grumpy as traffic congestion to and from work impacts their daily lives and moods.   Stress is aggravated by the distance and time spent on a journey as well as the number of roads on a trip.  Time of day is also a factor, with congestion greater in the evening peak hours, when stress is compounded by fatigue from the work day.  This stress adds to a lower tolerance for frustration, negative moods and illness.

There are 3 entry and exit routes to the South Peninsula

1. The Main Road from Muizenberg - Simon's Town which has been undergoing road works for 8 years!  The Stop/Go system will be in place until mid-September 2016, and the work is scheduled to be completed with two-way traffic until approximately November 2016.  (started in 2008)

2. Ou Kaapse Weg - this route carries approximately 85% of the south peninsula traffic with peak congestion during the morning and evening.  The city has acknowledged the OKW is over capacity with its' single winding lane

3. Chapman's Peak Drive - a toll road, and one of the major tourism routes to the south peninsula and Cape Point.  At R42 per direction for a light motor vehicle, many commuters feel this is not a viable option.  

There are numerous factors behind the reasons for the congestion, and the City of Cape Town is undergoing a survey on all the issues affecting the traffic congestion.

The Mayoral committee member for transport Brett Herron said road works would be undertaken in two contracts. The first part would entail the upgrade of Kommetjie Main Road, between Ou Kaapseweg and a point just west of Capri Drive, to a four-lane dual-carriageway with shoulders/cycleways and pavements for pedestrians. It would also include the upgrade of Ou Kaapseweg between Kommetjie Main Road and a point just north of Noordhoek Road to a four-lane dual-carriageway, also with shoulders/cycleways and pavements for pedestrians as well as the upgrade of the Silvermine Road/Ou Kaapseweg intersection.

The current state of affairs though, means that these new road works in the south peninsula will be undertaken before the end of 2016 and be finished by mid-2019.  That means 3 more years of roadworks with associated congestion for the south peninsula.  Things are not going to improve for awhile.

Community forums on social media reflect the frustrations of commuters concerned about safety on Ou Kaapse Weg and questions from those looking for alternatives and sanity.  

From Noordhoek Community Forum Facebook Group

2 August:  "So tired of the traffic on Ou Kaapse Weg" 

7 July:  "I had to go to Cape Town early this morning. Went over Ou Kaapse Weg at about 05:45. It was like a racing track.  Cars flying passing me on solid lines, on blind corners, cutting me of. I felt very unsafe.  Not sure why they are in such a hurry to get to work. The funny thing is that you get to the robots at the bottom of OKW and those same car and drivers are only a few cars in front of you after putting everybody's live in danger"

9 Sept:  A: "Looking for advice in commuting via Chappies rather than M3. If you currently commute into city centre daily over chappies - how long does it take on average, what's the toll cost per month (using frequency card) and are there times to avoid or is it generally flowing? Will be doing a dry run today but interested in other experiences. Thanks"

B: "I do the route daily from Faeire Knowe.  With a wild Card Concession as well I pay approximately R600 per month. There are times when there is a back up at Llundudno and sometimes approaching Bakoven.  Takes me an hour to town. " 

A: "Thanks I did a dry run today & it was a pleasant 45 mins. And I signed up for their frequency card. It is worth getting a wild card just for the saving. " 

C: "the eudaemonic benefits are priceless"

D: "the savings on my sanity is priceless. I get to work within an hour, all zen and calm and filled with the joys of beautiful vistas. So worth it."

A: "i'm just hoping to save my sanity. OKW and the M3 are torture these days"

From South Peninsula Moms Facebook Page

18 July:  "Hi moms. Does anyone drive over Chapman peak to work every day? How does the frequent user card work and what does it roughly cost every month?

"in the beginning of the month you pay full price, and the more you use it, the cheaper it   gets, I put about R500/R600 on it a month. and I travel up to 10 times a week. "

So yes - there is an alternative solution to your traffic woes,  your sanity and your safety!  Use Chapman's Peak Drive. The journey's duration via Chapman's Peak or Ou Kaapse Weg varies according to time of day, but in morning peak traffic is almost identical. Chapman's Peak Drive is safer and more beautiful. The distance from the south peninsula to Cape Town CBD varies by 3km depending on the route selected.

  • Longbeach Mall to Cape Town via OKW is 34km
  • Longbeach to Cape Town via Chappies and KloofNek is 37km
  • Longbeach Mall to Cape Town via Chappies and Constantia Nek is 37km.

BUT here's the kicker! Register as a Frequent User so you can afford it! It's a simple concept that the more you drive, the more you save. The Frequent User programme operates on a monthly basis. The first 3 trips over Chapman's Peak Drive will cost you the normal tariff price.  Thereafter each trip is progressively discounted until the next month when there is a reset.  A regular commuter travelling over Chapman's Peak Drive approximately 10 times per week will pay between R500 - R600 per month depending on the exact number of trips.

Speed and heavy congestion on Ou Kaapse Weg causes hurried, stressed motorists to behave rashly, overtake when it is not safe to do so, cause accidents and some innocent victims have paid the ultimate price.  Chapman's Peak Drive has a better safety record. Whilst both Ou Kaapse Weg and Chapman's Peak Drive are windy mountain routes, the speed limit on OKW is 70km/hr and on Chappies a mere 40km/hr.   In addition heavy vehicle and trucks cannot travel from south to north on Chapman's Peak Drive.

Sanity is another benefit that is harder to quantify. It appears to be a no-brainer that open horizons, mountain energy and a connection to nature may be more advantageous than bumper-to-bumper traffic.  Do a personal 'mood' survey comparing those who do a daily commute over Chapman's peak Drive and those who use Ou Kaapse Weg.

With at least three years of major roadworks needed to alleviate the chronic congestion in the south peninsula, and in particular Ou Kaapse Weg, what are your plans for your daily commute?

Anyone interested in the Frequent User programme can call the Chapman's Peak Drive Toll Plaza on 021 791 8222 or visit and register during office hours.


Chapman’s Peak Drive Toll Plaza Office Hours:

The Toll Plaza is open Monday - Friday from 08h00 - 17h00 for registration as a Frequent User.
Address: Toll Plaza, Chapman’s Peak Drive, Hout Bay, Cape Town
Plaza Tel: 021 791 8220

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About Chapman's Peak Drive

  • Chapman’s Peak Drive toll road winds its way between Noordhoek and Hout Bay on the Atlantic Coast on the south-western tip of South Africa. Chapman’s Peak Drive is one of the most spectacular marine drives in the world.

    Chapman’s Peak Drive is affectionately known as #Chappies.