The Lenasia Scholar Transport Plan (LSTP), which aims to create a safe environment for schoolchildren who access the approximately 30 schools in the area, has been highlighted by the City of Joburg’s Transport Department as a key focus sector.
More than 19 000 learners use scholar transport to travel between home and school in Lenasia.
A public meeting was recently held at the Nur-ul-Islam Hall in Lenasia to discuss the baseline evaluation of the LSTP, as part of the department’s commitment to have an inclusive public engagement process with all stakeholders.
The MMC for Transport, Nonhlanhla Makhuba said the City wants to ensure leaner transport systems contribute to the betterment of the lives of schoolchildren and transport operators in the municipality.
“Public consultation is important as it enables us to listen to the community’s key issues and inputs and take action,” said Makhuba.
Makhuba said through this project, the Transport department will fund the development of a comprehensive and collaboratively designed Scholar Transport Plan, which factors in the options and requirements of all stakeholders in the area. This will ensure the safety of learners when travelling to school using scholar transport, walking and/or cycling.
“The project will also provide safe areas for the transfer of vehicles, pedestrian facilities along key corridors to schools and pick-up and drop off facilities at schools. This will not only be beneficial to learners and scholar transport operators but to the general public as it will improve traffic flow and road safety. It will also alleviate traffic pressure on both Nirvana and Abubaker Asvat Drives, as well as surrounding areas,” said Makhuba.
Over the years, the City has had numerous challenges with scholar transport in Lenasia, including unregulated transport operators and informal public transport systems, particularly along the Nirvana and Abubaker Asvat precinct.
A local resident, Pratibha Patel, laments that scholar transport operators use Topaas Street as a parking bay when picking up schoolchildren and this blocks people’s driveways. Patel advises that Lenasia Ext.7 be considered as a parking site because it has ample space and could help alleviate traffic congestion.
“Current conditions for scholar transport are unpleasant for schoolchildren and pose a serious safety concern. The lack of adequate facilities results in traffic congestion, overcrowding and generally unsafe conditions for all learners,” he says.
The city has committed to improving the current state of the scholar transport system and the general upgrade of the area to ensure schoolchildren are transported safely, reliably and in keeping with the law.