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Bellville Rail Station set to attract more passengers

by Luyanda Makapela
on 22 May 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The Bellville Railway Police Station will play a critical role in securing the railway environment, while convincing people to use rail transport, says Transport Minister Jeff Radebe.

Speaking at the official opening of the Bellville Railway Police Station in Cape Town on Wednesday, Minister Radebe said completion of the station was a commitment to restore passenger rail systems while adopting a turn-around strategy.

"It is important that we bear in mind that the aim of this partnership between the South African Rail Commuter Corporation [SARCC] and the police is primarily to guarantee safety and security of commuters while protecting rail infrastructure and assets.

"We want to ensure that government makes these significant investments in the passenger rail systems so that greater numbers of all transport users return to using rail system," the minister said.

To date, over R32 million has already been spent on the four railway police stations in Cape Town, Retreat, Philippi and Bellville.

Minister Radebe said the Cape Town/Bellville Corridor is important as it is classified as a priority corridor in the rail plan as over 75 000 passenger trips are undertaken daily.

The minister said the Bellville Station is a key exchange point through which commuters come and proceed to destinations such as Cape Town, Strand and Wellington.

"Deployed efficiently in this corridor and its sister corridors [Strand/Bellville Corridor], rail could contribute significantly towards reducing congestion and its associated negative impacts on the N1 and N2 Freeways," Mr Radebe said.

The opportunity, the minister said, therefore existed to provide premium services similar to the ones recently launched between Tshwane and Johannesburg, Soweto and Johannesburg and Khayelitsha and Cape Town.

The minister appealed to residents to join hands and work to ensure that safety and security in the passenger rail environment and all public spaces prevailed.

"As government, we will continue to work with all the stakeholders so that we can provide efficient and effective transport system that meets both social and business needs of our people," said Minister Radebe.

Delivering his Budget Vote on Tuesday, Minister Jeff Radebe said South Africans can look forward to experiencing a radically improved public transport service by early 2010.

"This confidence has been further strengthened by numerous visits I have undertaken to various sites where work is currently taking place such as our airports, commuter railways, Gautrain Rapid Rail construction sites, road construction, among others.

"It was only in 2005/06 when we presented to Government and various stakeholders the 2010 Transport Agenda. Since then we have also concluded a detailed operational plan which we will be submitting to Cabinet and FIFA next month," the minister said.

The minister said the preparation for the passenger and freight transport for the 2010 World Cup and the Confederations Cup was well advanced. - BuaNews

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