Westgate Station Precinct

westgate precinct

A unique opportunity exists to create a gateway to the Joburg inner city through the Westgate precinct, a multimodal public transport hub.

 

The Westgate Station Precinct, in the south-western corner of the Johannesburg Inner City, is centred on a multimodal public transport interchange.

It includes the Westgate train station, which is owned and operated by the Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa; two Rea Vaya stations, Joburg’s Bus Rapid Transit service; a minibus taxi rank; and holding facilities for Metrobus, Joburg’s bus service, as well as privately owned national long distance buses and cross border buses.

Westgate is also strategically located south of the Newtown Cultural Precinct, west of the Main Street Mall upgrade, and adjacent to the Chinatown and Diagonal Street upgrades, all carried out by the JDA in previous years. The transport interchange is surrounded by several large parcels of vacant and underdeveloped land – some of the last within the Inner City – which are mostly privately owned.

The area offers a unique opportunity to create a visual and physical gateway to Joburg’s Inner City. It can be transformed into a high intensity, transit-oriented development node, with the main strategic focus being public transport users and private property investment, as well as being a gateway.

Inkanyeli Properties has been awarded the development lease for the Westgate Station.

In 2011/12, the JDA implemented the first phase of the three-year project, which involved a Traffic Impact Assessment of the entire node, based on the spatial development framework; a conceptual design of the area that identified design standards; the design of a heritage trail through the precinct, connecting to the Newtown Heritage Trail; and Phase 1 detailed design and implementation of identified initiatives.

Phase 2, undertaken in 2012/13, continued on a block-by-block basis by implementing the full range of public environment upgrade initiatives for selected street blocks. It included a heritage walking trail with a connection to the Newtown trail, and a new sculpture was commissioned diagonally opposite Chancellor House on Fox Street.

A third phase of work is being designed for 2013/14, which will comprise the continuation of the public environment upgrade along selected streets; however, the focus will be on upgrading Westgate Rank.

Given the strategic nature of the Westgate node, an in-depth planning exercise is under way. It includes establishing current and proposed transport operations, to ensure sensible changes to the rank, which will be aligned to the strategic vision for transport in the Inner City. The role of Westgate in the overall Inner City taxi and bus transport system needs to be considered in terms of the longer term strategic planning for public transport facilities contained in the Inner City Transport Study.