South Africa’s N2 freeway which connects Cape Town with the KwaZulu-Natal North Coast along the eastern seaboard is in great shape to handle higher traffic volumes during the coming festive season.
Mbulelo Peterson, regional manager for SANRAL’s Southern Region (Eastern Cape province), says road users will be able to travel the entire distance without encountering road works or having to wait for construction activities.
An exception is the N2 southbound between Durban and Port St Johns just before the Adams Road interchange. It will be down to one lane until 15 December. Also, work on the N2 northbound toward Empangeni from Durban will continue over the holiday period and there will be some delays. The southbound carriageway will not be affected.
In King William’s Town there will be some lane reductions, again only until 15 December.
“As a result, our engineers have rated the condition of the stretch between Cape Town and Durban as fair to good barring any unforeseen major traffic incidents or weather conditions,” says Peterson.
The road consists of a single carriageway with climbing lanes for most of the road. Drivers are urged to look out for stray animals on the roadside and pedestrian activity especially near the Swartklip Interchange, Trunk Road Two, Grabouw, Swellendam, Riversdale, George, Knysna, and Plettenberg Bay.
Motorists are urged not to stop along the highway to buy fruit or vegetables.
The addition of the automated pay system on the toll road section north of Durban will further ease congestion and improve commuter safety on this stretch of freeway.
Traffic volumes are expected to pick up in the second week of December and very high number of vehicles will be on the road prior to the public holidays and at identified sections of the road. The areas that are closely monitored by SANRAL include the sections between Grabouw and Caledon in the Southern Cape; from East London to Mthatha and near Port Shepstone on the KZN South Coast.
Traffic volumes are expected to ease after Christmas and again pick up early in 2017 as holidaymakers return home.
The automated pay system is in place at the Oribi, Umtentweni and Izotsha plazas on the N2 North Coast freeway. Road users with electronic tags no longer have to wait in queues at toll plazas or pay cash at the booms.
“Automated payment makes it much easier for motorists who undertake long distance journeys,” says Peterson. “It will reduce travel time and result in safer and more enjoyable road journeys.”
Incidents should be reported to either the South African Police Services (10111) or the National Traffic Call Centre (NTCC) on 012 665 6075.
The expected peak travel times over the December 2016 to January 2017 period based on historical data and traffic modelling for the N2 Cape Town to Durban:
• Extreme traffic volumes expected on the N2 at Botrivier to Caledon on 1, 9, and 14 December as well as 15, 16, 21, and the 22 December to 2 January; traffic volumes reduce slightly on 3 January and reduce further on 7 January.
• Extreme traffic volumes are expected on the N2 to Somerset West at Botrivier on 3, 10, 17 December, 22, 25, 26 December as well as 28, 29 December through to 7 January.
• Increased traffic volumes are expected on the N2 at Caledon to Grabouw on 17 and 26 December. Extreme traffic volumes are expected on 1 January and reduce on 4 January through the rest of the month.
• The N2 at Groot Brak, the N2 at Tsitsikamma, the N2 at Van Staden Interchange, the N2 at Grahamstown West, and the N2 at East London Bypass are likely to be free-flowing.
• Increased traffic volumes are expected on the N2 at Mthatha South to Mthatha from 4 December through to 14 December, on 22, 23 December and 26, 27, 28 December, no extreme volumes are expected during this period. Traffic volumes reduce on 29 December and a free-flow is expected through January.
• Increased traffic volumes are expected from beginning of December and increase on 8, 14 December through to 21 December on the N2 at Mthatha South to East London. Extreme traffic volumes are expected on 22 and 26 December with a slight reduction on 27 and 28 December.
• Free-flowing traffic at N2 Kokstad South to Kokstad with increased traffic volumes on 22 December and 1, 2 January, no extreme volumes are expected during this period.
• Free-flowing traffic at N2 Kokstad South to Mthatha with increased traffic volumes on 14 and 22 December and 1 January. No extreme traffic volumes are expected during this period.
• High traffic volumes are expected on the N2 at Marburg to Port Shepstone on 1, 4, 22 December as well as 27 and 28 December, 29 to 4 January, 8 and 9 January.
• Extreme traffic volumes are expected on 10 and 11 January on N2 at Marburg to Port Shepstone.
• Extreme traffic volumes are expected on the N2 at Marburg to Harding on 1 and 4 December to 8 December. Traffic volumes reduce on 9 and 10 December and increase on 11 to 14 December.
• Traffic volumes on the N2 at Marburg to Harding are likely to reduce from 15 to 21 December and increase on 22 and 23 December, 29 December to 4 January, no extreme volumes are expected during this time.
• Traffic volumes are expected to be high on 8 and 9 January and extremely high on 10 and 11 January on the N2 at Marburg to Harding.
• The N2 at Winklespruit to Port Shepstone will have high traffic volumes on 22 December and increased traffic volumes on 23 to 28 December till 4 January but no extreme volumes are expected during this time.