The organisers of the Msunduzi Road Challenge cycle race on 29 and 30 October have struck a compromise on their road closure plans to ensure the residents in the New Hanover, Dalton and Wartburg areas are not adversely affected on the Sunday of the road race.
The race, which offers options of 90km, 111km and 126km from Alexandra Park in Pietermaritzburg, past Albert Falls dam and traversing the midlands via New Hanover, Dalton, Harburg and Wartburg before returning to the start venue, was initially planned for full road closure for the duration of the race on Sunday 30 October.
However, after entering into discussion with residents in the area and businesses that normally operate on Sundays, the race organisers, Cycling South Africa and the Road Traffic Inspectorate have revised the road closure plans to allow for section of “directional road closure”.
“We are aware that there would have been disruptions to some businesses, churches and events in the area, and while we already had approval for full road closure for the duration of the event, we modified this to minimise the inconvenience of the local residents,” said race director Alec Lenferna.
“Certain sections where the peleton will be tightly bunched will remain full road closure, but we have implemented a directional road closure for large parts of the route that will close the left hand lane that the cyclists will be riding on while allowing traffic to move in the opposite lane in a controlled manner,” he added.
“Our primary concern is the safety of the cyclists that will be taking part, and ensuring that we comply fully with the standards set down by the International Cycling Federation as this race is Africa’s leg of the UCI World Cycling Tour,” said Lenferna.
From the start in Alexandra Park, out along Durban Road, New England Road, Boschoff Street, Bulwer Street, Echo Street, Orthmann Road, Manning Avenue to Baynes Drift Road will remain under full road closure for the duration of the race.
“However the directional road closure will then take effect, with the left lane of the roads the cyclists will travel on in the direction they are going will be closed but the contra flow traffic can still move,” said Lenferna.
“The R 614 and R 33 will be open to traffic contra flow to the cyclists (i.e. R614 – towards Wartburg & R 33 from New Hanover to Pmb) with points people directing traffic at intersections where traffic will cross. People can travel along R33 from Pietermaritzburg and turn right onto the R 614 when the road is clear of cyclists,” explained Lenferna.
He urged local residents to visit the event website at www.msunduziroadchallenge.co.za to familiarise themselves with the race route and to plan alternate routes if necessary.
Lenferna added that the back of the race would be strictly policed to ensure that no vehicles were allowed onto the road until the last of the cyclists had passed.
The Msunduzi Road Challenge cycle race takes place on Sunday 30 October in Pietermaritzburg and is preceded by a time trial on Saturday 29 October.
ROAD CLOSURE POINTS:
This event entails six road closure points, one of which involves two closures but in different directions due to the cyclists passing the particular point twice but in opposite directions. These road closure points are necessary to effectively implement the “Directional Lane Closure” status along the section of the route outside Pietermaritzburg. Once the “Directional Lane Closures” are in place it provides a safe lane for the cyclists to use while vehicles moving in the opposite direction to the cyclists can continue using the road as normal.
These road closure points are as follows:
R614 at Bayne’s Drift concerning traffic approaching from Wartburg / Tongaat heading towards the R33. Traffic will be directed onto the Table Mountain Road (P25-1) towards Pietermaritzburg.
R33 at Bayne’s Drift concerning traffic approaching from Pietermaritzburg heading towards Albert Falls / New Hanover / Greytown via the R33. Traffic will be directed onto the R614 towards Wartburg / Tongaat.
P154 at New Hanover concerning traffic heading towards Schroeders / Wartburg. Traffic will be directed along the R33 towards Bayne’s Drift, then along the R614 towards Wartburg.
P156-1 at New Hanover concerning traffic heading towards Dalton / New Hanover / Tongaat or towards Wartburg via the P63 at Noodsburg. Traffic will be directed along the R33 towards Bayne’s Drift, then along the R614 towards Wartburg.
P63 at Noodsburg concerning traffic heading towards Harburg / Wartburg via the P156-2. Traffic heading towards Wartburg will be directed along P156-1 to New Hanover, then along the R33 towards Bayne’s Drift, then along the R614 towards Wartburg. Traffic heading towards Harburg will be directed along P156-1 to the R614 turn-off to Harburg.
R614 at the Harburg turn-off concerning traffic approaching from Tongaat heading towards Bruyn’s Hill / Wartburg / Table Mountain / Pietermaritzburg via the R614. Traffic heading towards Bruyn’s Hill / Wartburg will be directed along P156-1 to New Hanover, then along the R33 towards Bayne’s Drift, then along the R614 towards Wartburg. Traffic heading towards Table Mountain / Pietermaritzburg will be directed along P156-1 to New Hanover, then along the R33 towards Pietermaritzburg.
Table Mountain Road (P25-1) at Bayne’s Drift concerning traffic heading towards Table Mountain / Pietermaritzburg via the Table Mountain Road (P25-1). Traffic will be directed onto the R33 towards Pietermaritzburg.
More information can be found at www.msunduziroadchallenge.co.za