A proposal to close a Plumstead railway subway will soon got out for public comment.
There have been several calls over the years to close the subway that divides Tiverton Road (“Residents call for subway closures,” October 13, 2016).
PlumsteadNeighbourhood Watch chairwoman, Thania Wilson-Harris, said they had tried to have the subway closed since a youngster had been stabbed there and a woman raped several years ago.
Closing it from 6pm to 6am would help at night but they hoped to have it closed completely.
There was another subway, about 40m away at Southfield Road circle, which was closer to the station, busier and covered by a bicycle patrol, she said.
PNW operations manager, Kevin Bodenham, said criminals used the subways to escape from patrollers.
The watch visited the subway with the Diep River Community Police Forum, City officials and ward councillor Montgomery Oliver on Tuesday October 23.
The subway falls on the boundary between Mr Oliver’s ward and that of Liz Brunette’s.
However, not everyone agrees that the subway should be closed, including those the Bulletin found using it on Saturday October 27.
“It’s sad to hear that it might be closed. It is dangerous to use it, but it’s so close to home,” said a man walking through it.
A man on motorbike stopped in the road on the eastern side of the subway. He waiting and watched for a while to see if anyone was using the subway, then revved his engine and sped through to the other side.
“Closing the subway could do more harm and encourage illegal railway crossings,” he said. “It would be better to lock it during the night as criminals use it as an escape after committing a crime.”
Diep River police spokesman, Constable Zak Marais, said there had been no recent reports of robberies or rapes in the Tiverton Road subway.
Area south Mayco member, Eddie Andrews, said the subway had been vandalised many times -pipes had been stolen and lighting damaged.
From Friday November 9 to Sunday December 9, the public could comment on a proposal for a partial closure of the subway. But, ultimately, it would only happen if there was money to do so, said Mr Andrews.
The public may view and comment on the proposal at the Retreat, Wynberg and Plumstead libraries as well as at the relevant sub-council offices.
An official notice would appear on the City’s website at www.capetown.gov.za/haveyoursay and be advertised in the community press, Mr Andrews said.