A R130-million Transport Management Centre (TMC) in Cape Town is to facilitate the management of traffic incidents, providing a safer transport environment.

Mayoral committee member for Transport, Roads and Stormwater, Councillor Elizabeth Thompson turned the sod for the centre in Goodwood, Cape Town, on Friday.

“This auspicious event initiates a new dimension and dispensation in the way transport and traffic will be managed on the city’s freeways and arterial networks.

“It puts Cape Town on par with international best practice in transport and traffic management,” Councillor Thompson said.

When complete, the building will provide the city and its partners with a world class traffic management facility and system.

She said the new Traffic Management Centre was imperative for the management of traffic on the freeways and auxiliary arterial road network for the 2010 FIFA World Cup event and beyond.

The building, with its new technology, will facilitate visual monitoring of the road network from real time video and CCTV surveillance camera feeds.

The centre will also detect traffic incidents through information received from CCTV cameras and traffic sensors.

Taking telephone calls from the public and informing the motoring public by means of radio reports, electronic, variable message signboards, a web site, sms’s among others will also be one the functions of the centre.

The centre will also act as a direct liaison with emergency services to improve the city’s ability to respond to and deal with traffic incidents.

Ward Councillor Clive Justus said the establishment of the centre confirmed the important location Goodwood occupies “in terms of access and position to influence so many strategic activities which safeguards all our citizens, and contributes to a wholesome lifestyle.

“The movement of people, products and vehicles will be enhanced with this centre which will monitor vehicle movements and suggest alternative routing when accidents occur, reducing frustration of motorists and facilitating a speedy response to emergencies.”

The location of the centre next to emergency services, traffic and fire is a logical decision which will facilitate the integration of action plans and responses.