Businessmen reject new Shepstone Road parking bays

Manager of Captain's Catch Fish n' Chips, Roy Anunthkumar, Tony da Canha (New Germany CPF chairman) and Pop In owner, Peter Gavriel are unhappy about the parking layout being changed during road construction.

NEW Germany business owners are up in arms after the layout of parking bays was recently changed causing traffic build-up in an already congested area along Qashana Khuzwayo Road (Shepstone Road).

Business owners said the new parking bays are a recipe for disaster and they want the parking lot returned to its former layout.

Manager of Captain’s Catch Fish n’ Chips, Roy Anunthkumar said there use to be 17 parking bays in front of the shops which have now been cut to five. ”

“Just last week Friday, there was an accident where a vehicle reversed into a car behind it. These new parking spaces are causing chaos.”

“This used to be a two-way street but there is confusion now and “no-entry” signs to guide motorists have not been erected. One motorist landed on the pavement as he is used to the old parking layout,” said Anunthkumar.

Pop In owner, Peter Gavriel said the construction has taken a long time. “We lost lots of money because of the delays. Now they have just changed the parking area which is very unsafe for our customers. This new parking system is very dangerous and a big mess.”

“We have mothers who send an older child to the shop for bread while they are looking after a small child in the car. They won’t be able to do that anymore because children will now have to cross the road,” he said.

Gavriel also raised the issue of safety. “The customers cannot keep watch on their cars, especially at night. These parking spaces are also close to each other in a two-way street and it is difficult for cars to reverse,” he said.

Owner of Orsum Pet Foods, Kevin Ferguson echoed their concerns, saying, “We now have seven parking bays in front of our shops which means 90 per cent of our customers are unsafe. The contractors have also paved an area which could cater for five cars. I don’t know why they did this, but it’s a waste.”

Parking lot still under construction – eThekwin Transport Authority
Carlos Esteves, deputy head Road System Management at eThekwini Transport Authority said this particular site in question is still under construction and they had to close some of the parking off to fix leaking and broken water lines, “So traffic is congested as a result. The full extent of the parking area will be opened within the next two weeks.
As the parking area is still under construction not all the new bays are painted and or accessible as yet. We appeal to the people using this shopping area to be patient a little bit longer as the old layout had 34 bays and the new layout will have 88 bays,” he said.

Esteves said the original layout of the parking cannot be restored as the widening of Qashana Khuzwayo for the new dedicated bus lane for GO!Durban has claimed about 5m of the ‘old’ parking area. However we believe the new layout will address all the concerns, and traffic flow and congestion will ease as a result.

With the issue of the owners being not included in the roadworks, Esteves said there have been public meetings held in Pinetown on a number of occasions to update the public and to deal with questions around construction.”Flyers indicating the new layout were distributed in November 2015 informing the public and shop owners about the parking area improvements. Contact numbers were provided on the flyers for people who had concerns to contact the contractor.

He added that the parking has been thoughtfully and carefully planned to optimize access and space, and there is no ‘wastedspace’.”Inclement weather has, and is causing delays, and we request that the shop-owners and shoppers bear with us as we attempt to fast-track the construction to ensure that traffic is normalized as soon as possible.”

  AUTHOR
Sanelisiwe Tsinde
Journalist/Photographer

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