Green light for cyclists on Chapman's Peak Drive
The Department of Transport and Public Works will permit cyclists and pedestrians to start using the south side of Chapman’s Peak Drive again from 19 February 2016. Safety is the Department’s highest priority. Restrictions were imposed on cyclists and pedestrians after massive fires across the Cape Peninsula in March 2015. The fires destroyed the vegetation above the road and increased the risk of rock and stone falls to an unacceptable level.
Almost a year later, the vegetation has recovered sufficiently to have stabilised the slope. Entilini Operations, the company that holds the management concession, has installed fine mesh fences to stop small rocks and stones from falling onto the road. Although the safety hazard has abated sufficiently for the road to be opened to cyclists and pedestrians, Chapman’s Peak Drive will always be prone to rock falls. Standard road closure procedures will be applied whenever there is a safety hazard, including vehicle crashes and extreme weather conditions.
“Chappies” is one of the most popular cycling routes in Cape Town. It has been frustrating for cyclists to have to turn back at the lookout point. There have been more cyclists on Constantia Nek, Ou Kaapse Weg, False Bay Main Road and Boyes Drive as riders used other routes around the Peninsula.
Robert Vogel, CEO of Pedal Power Association, says the additional safety measures are greatly appreciated.
“We are very pleased that Chapman’s Peak Drive is once again open to cyclists as this is the premier training route for the upcoming Cape Town Cycle Tour. Cyclists want to train on the actual race route as much as possible,” he said.
Road safety relies on mutual respect. Motorists may not pass within 1 metre of a cyclist. Cyclists must ride in single file. Being considerate is an essential part of sharing the road and enhancing the safety of all road users.
Photo supplied by Bruce Sutherland (City of Cape Town)