I.1 Outline of this section

I.1.1 Purpose

Settlements are integrated systems in which the various components are interconnected, and this section highlights the role of transportation in this system. Transportation (mobility and access) significantly affects the quality of living environments; therefore the aspects addressed in this section play an essential role in achieving the vision for human settlements outlined in Section B.

This section deals with the planning and design of roads and streets that are able to accommodate a range of transport options, including non-motorised transport (NMT), public transport and motor vehicles. Aspects that should be taken into consideration when establishing the transportation demand created by a neighbourhood development are outlined, and information regarding the related infrastructure options available is provided. Guidance is provided with respect to geometric design as well as the structural design of road pavements. For the purposes of this Guide, ‘road pavement’ refers to the surface material of a road (incorporating all the associated layers). ‘Road’ refers to any pathway (road or street) that is intended to accommodate and facilitate the movement of pedestrians, cyclists, animal-drawn carts, wheelchairs, motor cycles, motor vehicles, etc., as well as other activities that may take place in neighbourhood streets.

Section I links directly with Section F (Neighbourhood layout and structure), Section G (Public open space), Section L Section L (Stormwater) and Section O.2 (Universal design), and care should be taken to ensure that the information provided in all these sections are considered when applying the guidelines provided in any of the three sections.

I.1.2 Content and structure

This section (Section I) is structured to support effective decision-making related to transportation and road pavements. The decision-making framework is outlined in Figure I.1, and the structure of this section is briefly described below.

Universal considerations

General aspects that should be taken into consideration when making higher level decisions regarding transportation and road pavements are highlighted, including the following:

  • The regulatory environment, including key legislation, policies, frameworks and strategies
  • The key objectives that should be achieved as a result of the application of the guidelines provided
  • Local or international approaches, mechanisms, concepts and current trends that could possibly be utilised to achieve the key objectives
  • Contextual factors specific to the development project to be implemented such as the development type and setting

Planning considerations

Factors to consider when making more detailed decisions regarding transportation and road pavements are outlined, including the following:


  • The characteristics of the development, including the nature of the proposed neighbourhood, the anticipated number of residents and specific features that would have to be incorporated or requirements that would have to be met
  • The existing features of the site and immediate surroundings (built and natural environment) as determined by the physical location of the proposed development
  • Options related to transportation and road pavements that are available for consideration

Design considerations

Guidelines to assist with the design of transportation infrastructure.

Glossary, acronyms, abbreviations and endnotes

A glossary, a list of acronyms and abbreviations, and endnotes (containing sources of information, explanatory comments etc.) are provided at the end of Section I.

Figure I.1: A framework to assist with planning and design decisions


I.2 Universal considerations

I.2.1 The regulatory environment

A range of legislation, policies and strategies guide the planning and design of transportation facilities and services for human settlements. Legislation and policy that have direct implications for neighbourhood transportation planning and design are briefly outlined below. They are not discussed in detail, so it is important to consult the relevant documentation before commencing with any neighbourhood development project.

(i) Policies, plans, frameworks and strategies

A number of policies, plans, strategies and frameworks guide various aspects of transportation and related infrastructure planning and investment in South Africa, including the following:

  • National Land Transport Strategic Framework 2006
  • Road Infrastructure Strategic Framework for South Africa (RISFSA) 2006
  • Rural Transport Strategy of South Africa 2007
  • Public Transport Strategy and Action Plan 2007 (which made provision for the introduction of Integrated Rapid Public Transport Service Networks)
  • National Non-Motorised Transport Policy 2012
  • National Learner Transport Policy 2015
  • National Transport Master Plan (NATMAP) 2016
  • Draft Green Transport Strategy (2017-2050)
  • Draft Revised White Paper on National Transport Policy 2017
  • Draft National Road Safety Strategy (2016-2030)

Provincial Land Transport Frameworks, developed in terms of the National Land Transportation Act, inform the transportation policy environment in the various provinces. At a local level, municipal planning mechanisms include long-term development visions and city development strategies, Comprehensive Integrated Transport Plans, the Integrated Development Plan (IDP) sector plans (including Spatial Development Frameworks) and, in the case of certain municipalities, the Built Environment Performance Plans (BEPPs). Some national government departments have guidelines aimed at the local level, such as the National Treasury’s Urban Network Strategy toolkit, which provides guidance for transportation planning. There are also municipal by-laws that require adherence to traffic and transportation planning and design guidelines and specifications.

(ii) Legislation

The National Land Transport Act (NLTA) of 2009 (with amendments) governs all urban and rural land transport planning in South Africa. It specifies the legal responsibilities of the different spheres of government and deals with the application of national principles, guidelines, norms and standards. Some of the aspects addressed in this act that should specifically be considered when implementing Section I of the Guide, include the following:

  • All municipalities have to develop Comprehensive Integrated Transport Plans (CITPs). In addition to ensuring proper intermodal planning and coordination of transportation between adjacent municipalities and between different spheres of government, these CITPs must be accommodated in and form an essential part of municipal IDPs, as required by the Municipal Systems Act of 2000.


  • Local land transport planning must be integrated with the land development and land use planning processes in the municipality.
  • Municipalities must plan for and actively encourage the optimal use of available travel modes and specifically promote public transport by, for instance, implementing and managing modally integrated public transport networks (IPTN) and travel corridors.
  • Any substantial change or intensification of land use on any property may be subject to traffic impact assessments, public transport assessments and universal access audits as required by national, provincial and municipal transport authorities.

Other pieces of legislation pertaining to road transport infrastructure include the National Road Traffic Act of 1996, the South African National Roads Agency Limited and National Roads Act of 1998, as well as provincial acts.

Legislation that is not sector-specific, but has to be considered in the planning and design of transportation infrastructure and services at a neighbourhood level, includes the National Building Regulations and Building Standards Act of 1977 (and amendments), the National Environmental Management Act of 1998 and the National Heritage Resources Act of 1999.

(iii) Guidelines, manuals and standards

To give effect to legislative requirements and policy provisions, a range of guidelines, manuals and other documents are available to assist with neighbourhood transportation planning and design. At a national level, the Department of Transport’s publications include the Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) Facility Guidelines 2015 and the South African Road Safety Manual (SARSM), which is under the custodianship of the Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC). The South African Road Traffic Signs Manual 2012 (SARTSM) is an important guideline document for all road traffic signs, including the signing requirements at various intersection types and guidelines for the design of traffic signal systems at intersections (Volume 3).

The Technical Methods for Highways (TMH) or Technical Recommendations for Highways (TRH) series of publications are compiled under the auspices of the Roads Coordinating Body (RCB) of the Committee of Transport Officials (COTO) and published by the Department of Transport. The TRH guides provide information about current, recommended practice in selected aspects of road engineering, based on proven South African experience. The TMH manuals prescribe methods that can be used in various road design and construction procedures. Both sets of documents are relevant to roads in general, not just highways, as the titles may suggest. They address a range of topics, dealing with, for instance, traffic impact assessments (TMH 16), trip data parameters (TMH 17), road classification (TRH 26) and the use of road reserves (TRH 27).

SANRAL also publishes the South African Pavement Engineering Manual (SAPEM), which is a best-practice guideline covering a range of elements of pavement engineering. The South African Bitumen Association (SABITA) publishes a number of technical manuals, covering the selection, handling and use of bituminous materials for road construction.

Publications relevant to universal access (as it applies to transportation) include SANS 10400-S: 2011 (Facilities for Persons with Disabilities), SANS 784: 2008 (Design for access and mobility - Tactile indicators) and National Technical Requirement 1: Pedestrian Crossings (NTR1 2016), developed by the Department of Transport.

Municipalities often have their own guidelines and design standards on issues related to transport planning, non-motorised transport, traffic safety, parking provision, the provision of transport infrastructure in informal settlements, geometric standards and the like.


I.2.2 Key objectives

Objectives related to transportation have been formulated in various transport policy and planning publications. Increasingly, the focus is shifting towards improving access and mobility for all, regardless of the mode of transport used. Furthermore, there is a growing recognition that all users should be accommodated, including those with disabilities. The planning and design information contained in this Guide aims to support this and advocates the development of transportation infrastructure that caters not only for motor vehicles, but purposefully also accommodates pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchairs, etc. In addition to facilitating movement by means of various forms of transport, neighbourhood streets should also support a range of social, economic and recreational activities (See Section F.4.1).


The vision of the National Transport Master Plan (NATMAP) 2016 1

An integrated, smart and efficient transport system supporting a thriving economy that promotes sustainable economic growth, supports a healthier lifestyle, provides safe and accessible mobility options, socially includes all communities and preserves the environment.

A number of objectives have been identified to direct the planning and designing of neighbourhood transportation infrastructure. Transportation infrastructure should meet the following requirements:

  • Improve access and mobility for all users
  • Enhance the safety and security of all users
  • Minimise negative impacts on the environment
  • Support economic activities
  • Respond to the needs of all users
  • Be reliable and of an acceptable quality

(i) Improve access and mobility for all

In essence, the purpose of transport is to allow people and goods to move from one place to another. Inherent to this are two aspects, namely access and mobility. Transportation infrastructure should allow people to access their destination with relative ease, and to travel between two places within a reasonable time. Internationally, access and mobility are described in various ways, and different definitions are presented.

For the purposes of this Guide, access is interpreted as the ability to reach and utilise a particular destination. Destinations such as facilities, services, activities and opportunities are accessible if they can be approached and entered with ease by all people, including pedestrians, cyclists, people with disabilities, and those who are dependent on public transport. Access, or accessibility, can be improved in a number of ways. For instance, the accessibility of a particular destination is enhanced if it can be reached by means of a range of motorised and nonmotorised transport options, and also if the time to reach destinations is reduced as a result of their location within a neighbourhood. If a number of facilities such as a clinic, gymnasium, library and shops are grouped conveniently in a neighbourhood, it may make them more accessible to the community.



Access and mobility

Access has to do with the question “where can I go?” It relates to the ability to reach and utilise a place, but not the act or process of moving.

Mobility has to do with the question “how can I get there?” It relates to the ability to move from one place to the other.

Mobility is the ability of people and goods to move between two places, and the ease with which this can be done, regardless of the mode of transport. Mobility can be improved by providing safe and efficient infrastructure to accommodate all modes of transport, including non-motorised options. When interventions to improve mobility are planned and designed, the needs of all people, including pedestrians, cyclists, people with disabilities, and those who are dependent on public transport, should be acknowledged.

Access and mobility are interrelated. Good mobility in a neighbourhood, whether by means of motorised or nonmotorised transport, could potentially improve accessibility. However, the destinations that people want to access need to be located in or near the neighbourhood. Similarly, desirable destinations may be provided, but it may be difficult to reach them due to a lack of good quality roads, pedestrian walkways, or public transport facilities.

In some cases, such as in a rural setting, access is, to a large degree, dependent on mobility. Due to the distances between, say a residential and a shopping area, effective and safe mobility infrastructure is required to allow people to access a specific destination. In other cases, accessibility may be reduced as a result of the infrastructure provided to increase vehicular mobility. Access by pedestrians or cyclists to for instance a shopping centre may be compromised as a result of busy multi-lane streets and a lack of safe pedestrian crossings and inadequate or no infrastructure to accommodate taxis and other public transport services. Access to favoured destinations could also be reduced if these destinations are located alongside a street designed to accommodate fast-travelling vehicular traffic.

(ii) Enhance safety and security

All the components of transportation infrastructure should be planned and designed such that the risk of any user being injured or killed in an accident, or of being a victim of crime, is reduced. All users should be considered, including people with disabilities, and regardless of age. Whether people are walking, cycling, using a wheelchair or mobility scooter, travelling by motor vehicle, making use of public transport, or any other mode of motorised or non-motorised, they should be and feel safe and secure.

Aspects that should be considered to reduce physical injuries and fatalities as a result of any type of accident include, for instance, the design of pedestrian crossings, walkways and cycle lanes, the type of material used to pave streets and walkways, the type and positioning of lighting, the timing of traffic signals etc. (Section I.3.3). Geometric design (Section I.4) also plays an important role in creating streets that are safe for the users of motorised as well as non-motorised transport modes. Aspects such as the location and spacing of intersections, lane widths, horizontal curvature radii and sight distances could play an important role in creating a safe transport environment for all.


When developing transportation infrastructure, opportunities for crime can be reduced by applying the principles of crime prevention through environmental design (CPTED) (Section O.1). Furthermore, by applying CPTED strategies, safer spaces can be created that would decrease people’s feelings of insecurity. It is important to ensure that the security of all users – regardless of their mode of transport – is considered. This means that all pedestrians, cyclists and other users of non-motorised transport, as well as motorists and users of public transport should be provided with a safe and secure environment.

(iii) Minimise environmental impact

The emphasis on improving accessibility and mobility through fossil-fuelled transportation systems has come at a price, namely an escalation in harmful atmospheric emissions and the associated negative impact on the natural environment. Other negative effects of car-based transportation systems include noise pollution, the consumption of productive land and landscape damage resulting from the provision of transportation infrastructure.

One way of significantly reducing the negative impact of transportation on the environment is to lessen people’s dependence on fossil-fuelled private motor vehicles as a mode of transport. At a settlement level, this would require the commitment and active involvement of various role players. A number of strategies need to be in place and a range of services be provided to encourage people to make use of alternative forms of transport. For instance, to reduce people’s reliance on private transport, an effective, efficient, safe, reliable and affordable public transport system is essential. More importantly in the South African context, however, is the need to accommodate people making use of non-motorised transport, particularly those who have to walk or cycle almost everywhere they need to go to.

When applying the guidelines provided in Sections I.3, I.4 and I.5, the possibility of promoting the use of nonmotorised transport by planning and designing suitable infrastructure should be a guiding factor when making decisions. For instance, wherever possible, infrastructure should be provided at a neighbourhood level to support pedestrians, cyclists and users of other modes of non-motorised transport. The use of non-motorised transport could be accommodated (and encouraged) by for instance providing dedicated, safe cycle lanes and pedestrian walkways, designing safe pedestrian crossings, etc.

Another aspect to consider when making decisions aimed at reducing the impact of transportation infrastructure on the environment relates to the pavement material used. Certain materials and construction methods are more environmentally friendly than others, and it is therefore important to consider all factors before making a decision regarding the technology to be used.

(iv) Support economic activities

Access to transport (and a lack thereof) plays a critical role in the extent to which people are able to participate in economic activities. For instance, transport allows people to travel to and from their places of employment, it enables job seekers to search for employment opportunities and to attend job interviews, it connects businesses to each other (e.g. to deliver services and goods) and it allows customers and clients to interact commercially with a range of businesses.

Effective and efficient transport infrastructure supports job creation and economic activity, and it is essential for growth and development. Since a large proportion of the South African population does not have access to private motor vehicles, there is a particular need for infrastructure that accommodates and supports public transport and non-motorised transport. Many people have to cycle, walk and/or make use of public transport to participate in economic activities. Without appropriate infrastructure and an effective, efficient, safe, reliable and affordable public transport system, their ability to partake in and contribute to the economy, whether formal or informal, is severely compromised.


(v) Accommodate the needs of all users

Neighbourhood transportation infrastructure and services should, as far as possible, accommodate the needs of all potential users. The aim should be to provide universally accessible transport that could be used with ease by all, including people with disabilities, elderly people, children, pregnant women, etc. (See Section O.2.)

Streets should meet the needs of people, not just of motor vehicles. This means that streets should be designed to enable the movement not only of motor vehicles, but also non-motorised modes of transport. Wherever appropriate, streets should allow for a range of activities to be integrated, including leisure, trading and recreation. In some communities, streets provide the space for social interaction, and this should be acknowledged in the street design. (See Section F.4.1.)

Safe streets and walkways should be provided that would purposely support walking and cycling. Not only are these the only modes of transport available to many people, but if the infrastructure is provided, it may encourage others to walk and cycle, which would contribute to improving their health and wellbeing. At a neighbourhood level, pedestrians should be prioritised by incorporating pedestrian desire lines when deciding on a street layout pattern, providing safe pedestrian crossings and employing traffic calming measures

It is always expedient to provide transport infrastructure that would allow people with a choice when they need to travel. Infrastructure should be designed to allow for changes that may occur over time. Even if there is a focus on accommodating pedestrians, it should not necessarily be assumed that certain communities do not have access to motor vehicles based on economic or other criteria. (See Section O.2.)

(vi) Ensure quality and reliability

Good quality, reliable transportation infrastructure, as well as proper management and operation practices, are essential for achieving the majority of the other objectives discussed here. People depend on the infrastructure to travel to, for instance, healthcare and education services, recreational facilities, to do shopping and to participate in employment activities. Importantly, they need the infrastructure to be regularly maintained so as to allow them to be safe and secure when they travel, and to be universally accessible. Well-maintained infrastructure would have less harmful effects on the environment than ineffective, inefficient infrastructure.

It is therefore critical to ensure that the infrastructure is carefully planned and designed according to appropriate standards. Factors that could improve operation processes and procedures and reduce the need for constant maintenance should be considered when design decisions are made. This would assist in ensuring that the infrastructure remains effective, efficient and reliable. The use of innovative technologies should be incorporated where appropriate to improve the quality of the infrastructure and to support mechanisms implemented to improve reliability.

I.2.3 Approaches and concepts

This section briefly summarises possible approaches, strategies and mechanisms that could be utilised, or local or international concepts, ideas and trends that could be implemented to achieve the objectives discussed in Section I.2.2.


I.2.3.1 Classification of the road and street system

The classification of the road and street system has implications for all aspects of transportation planning and design. TRH26: South African Road Classification and Access Management Manual2 outlines a rural and urban road classification system that consists of six classes (see Table I.1). In this system, roads are classified exclusively on the basis of their function. The fact that a road has been built or managed to a particular standard does not mean that it has a particular function. Functional and not geometric or condition criteria are used for classifying roads. The appropriate hierarchy of the multi-functional street at a local level should be determined by the local needs and the context of the site, and not by simply applying a guideline. (Section F.4)

Table I.1: The South African road classification system (Based on TRH26)
Class Function Description Urban Rural
Design speed
Typical road
reserve width
Design speed
Typical road
reserve width
Class 1 Mobility Principal arterial 120 60 120 62
Class 2 Major arterial 80 40 120 48
Class 3 Minor arterial 70 30* 100-120 30
Class 4a Access/
Collector street: major  60 25 80-100 25
Class 4b Collector street: minor  50 20 80-100  
Class 5a Local street: commercial 40 22 60-80 20
Class 5b Local street: residential 40 14** 60-80  
Class 6 Walkway n/a n/a n/a n/a

* Reserve up to 62m is required to allow for Bus Rapid Transit (BRT).
** Reserve of 10.5m is typical if street is less than 100 m long.

Road classification plays an important role when making decisions regarding aspects related to accessibility and mobility, intersection spacing and control, public transport infrastructure provision, and the balance required between different road types to structure an efficient network. Several of these issues are addressed in TMH 16 South African Traffic Impact and Site Traffic Assessment Standards and Requirements Manual (2014).

According to TRH26, public transport systems have their own classification system, ranging from strategic public transport routes (SPTR), integrated rapid transit (IRT), bus rapid transit (BRT) and high occupancy vehicle (HOV) priority lanes, to local distribution routes and termini. In neighbourhoods, most public transport routes, and possibly even strategic bus routes, will be on access/activity streets where pedestrian facilities and bus stops are mostly found.

I.2.3.2 Transport demand management

Transportation demand management (sometimes referred to as travel demand management, traffic demand management or mobility management) refers to the application of different strategies to reduce the demand for travel or to redistribute the demand for travel in space and/or in time.

The overall aim of travel demand management is to increase the efficiency of a transportation system by giving priority to travel based on the value and cost of each trip. Higher-value trips and lower-cost modes are prioritised through a number of interventions. For example, buses are regarded as having higher value to the system (they transfer more people per trip) and should thus receive priority over private vehicles. Public transport, ridesharing, cycling and walking generally cost society less per trip than low occupancy private cars when considering roadway costs, congestion, harmful emissions and traffic accidents, and they should therefore receive priority over private vehicles.


The management of the demand for transport can include a number of interventions that have a cumulative impact on the efficiency of the system and ultimately improve the liveability of settlements. Some of these interventions are aimed at improving transport options available to users, while others provide users with incentives to change routes, modes, destinations or the schedule of their trips. Also included in transport demand management are interventions that reduce the need for physical travel such as improved internet-based communication systems.

I.2.3.3 Transport-oriented Development

Transport-oriented Development (TOD) refers to the concentration of a mix of medium- to high-density, pedestrianfriendly developments around or close to public transport stops, terminals and stations. The intention of this approach is to reduce the need to use motorised modes by making trips walkable, to improve access to public transport and reduce commuting time. Importantly, by increasing the concentration of people in the immediate vicinity of the transport stop, the necessary passenger demand thresholds for public transport can be achieved.

Transport-oriented Development (TOD) refers to the concentration of a mix of medium- to high-density, pedestrianfriendly developments around or close to public transport stops, terminals and stations. The intention of this approach is to reduce the need to use motorised modes by making trips walkable, to improve access to public transport and reduce commuting time. Importantly, by increasing the concentration of people in the immediate vicinity of the transport stop, the necessary passenger demand thresholds for public transport can be achieved.

Transport-oriented developments are site-specific and dependent on the proximity of public transport stops, terminals and stations. For such developments to be successful, streets should be safe and convenient for all, including pedestrians, cyclists and people with disabilities. The developments should incorporate a mix of land uses including residential, retail, recreational and entertainment.

I.2.3.4 Complete streets

Complete streets are streets for people, not just cars. The concept is based on the notion that, under certain conditions, the entire road reserve should be regarded as public open space and should be planned, designed, operated and maintained to accommodate all users safely and conveniently. This means that everyone should feel comfortable using the street, regardless of their age and mode of transport, including pedestrians, cyclists, wheelchair users, motorists, public transport users, etc.

The approach is aimed at neighbourhood streets, and its application in practice would be determined by the local context. Complete streets don’t all look the same, but they could typically include the following elements:

  • Pedestrian and cycling infrastructure such as walkways, bicycle lanes, bicycle storage facilities, public furniture, landscaping, frequent and safe street crossing opportunities, kerb extensions, etc.
  • Bus lanes and comfortable and accessible public transportation stops
  • Appropriate traffic-calming measures to enable safe access and use of the street as social space

I.2.3.5 Non-Motorised Transport

Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) refers to all forms of transport that are not motorised, including walking, cycling, animal-drawn transport, cycle rickshaws, skateboards, hand carts and wheelchairs. For shorter distances, NMT is usually the most efficient means of transport, but its use is influenced by land use, topography, travel needs and the layout of infrastructure and services. The planning and design of NMT infrastructure and services have received attention through theoretical concepts such as complete streets (Section I.2.3.4) and by promoting the adoption of a ‘pedestrian first’ hierarchy of users (Section F.4.1.3). More information is available in the Non-Motorised Transport (NMT) Facility Guidelines published by the Department of Transport.3


I.2.4 The implementation context

This section highlights the contextual factors that should be considered when making decisions regarding transportation infrastructure, specifically related to the type of development and its setting. Also refer to Section D.2.1 (Type of development) and Section D.2.2 (The setting/location of the planned development).

I.2.4.1 The type of development

(i) Greenfield development

There are usually no or little formal (motorised) transport activities directly on a greenfield site. However, in urban and peri-urban settings there is likely to be transport activity in the surrounding area. This transport activity may have to be quantified as part of the transport inventory. In addition, the transport road network and public transport services and infrastructure in the areas around and through the project site will also have an impact on the transport planning and design of the greenfield project. An important issue to consider when doing street layout planning for a greenfield site is the presence of desire lines, where pedestrians crossing the site show their preferred routes even in the absence of formal transportation infrastructure.

(ii) Brownfield development

Brownfield developments occur at sites where there is current land use and transport activity associated with the site. Transportation infrastructure may be located on the site and may be used as is or be in need of improvement and upgrading. If the project entails infill development or redevelopment, many of the existing land use activities and associated trips may remain, and the trips may even increase. The development of brownfield sites often implies higher population densities, which will have direct implications for the type and capacity of transportation infrastructure.

(iii) Informal settlement upgrading

Informal settlement upgrading projects are usually complex undertakings that require extensive community participation. Acceptability and perceptions may be important factors to consider when making decisions regarding transportation options. Space is usually limited in informal settlements and developments are often done in situ. An in-situ layout involves creating spaces between existing top structures for the purposes of access as well as installing pipes and cables for infrastructure services. This would require the existing movement tracks, pathways and desire lines through the informal settlement to be identified and mapped before layout proposals are made. In an informal settlement upgrading project, the provision of NMT infrastructure will be an important aspect to consider.

I.2.4.2 The setting of the development

(i) Rural

Development sites in rural areas will vary in nature depending on the location, for instance whether it is situated in a rural town or a dispersed settlement. Rural settlements do not show the strong weekday morning and afternoon trip peaks found in urban areas, therefore the infrastructure design requirements are likely to be different, even though the transport planning process is the same as for peri-urban and urban areas. Public transport service provision is an important aspect of planning in rural areas, although it might be with low trip demand and low frequency services. There is a general lack of adequate NMT infrastructure in rural areas, which needs to be addressed as NMT users in rural areas not only include pedestrians and cyclists, but also animal-powered vehicles.


(ii) Peri-urban

Peri-urban areas often serve a dormitory function and mostly lack the investment to drive employment growth that will require their inhabitants to travel long distances to access employment opportunities, social services and education. This strong functional relationship with adjacent urban settlements requires an efficient transportation system. However, peri-urban areas are sometimes neglected in the planning and design of transportation infrastructure and services. Quite often, municipal public transport systems only operate within the ‘urban’ areas of settlements and residents of peri-urban areas are mostly dependent on private motor vehicles, provincial bus services or unregulated public transport such as mini-bus taxis.

(iii) Urban

Congestion is one of the prevalent transport problems in large urban areas. This aspect is strongly related to long commuting times and harmful environmental impacts of the transportation system, especially through the use of private cars. In urban areas typical weekday morning and afternoon public and private transport trip peaks are associated with existing land uses in the area. The public transport passenger demand drops dramatically in the off-peak periods, resulting in unused system capacity. With the high rate of urbanisation, the capacity of transportation systems in the peak periods remains an issue, while low-density development poses challenges related to transportation network coverage. The structural design of pavements generally does not differ between urban and rural contexts, except in the selection and design of the surfacing layer and drainage.


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The Neighbourhood Planning and Design Guide
Creating Sustainable Human Settlements

Developed by
Department of Human Settlements

Published by the South African Government
ISBN: 978-0-6399283-2-6
© 2019