Xai-Xai IDP – TRANSPORTATION PLANNING AND ROADS
The road proposals were developed in conjunction with the spatial planning framework and relate to the developable areas along the coastal dunes. These proposals aim to balance the ecological impact of roads and access with the need to order the development pressure in the area.
Transportation needs can be estimated for groups or stakeholders within the community having similar transportation demands. The primary groups are the subsistence farmers, wood collectors and charcoal producers, scholars, informal traders, daily commuters between the Xai- Xai town and the Xai-Xai Beach residential area, weekend commuters, long-distance public transport users, holiday visitors and tourists.
Subsistence farmers have seasonal transportation needs related to obtaining means of production and distribution of surpluses. The light goods vehicles that are converted to public transport vehicles, also serve the freight transport in the off peak periods.
Wood collectors and charcoal producers travel from town to the beach areas where wood sources have not been diminished. Transport is often provided by their employer, who transports bundled wood and sacks of charcoal back to the town or distribution points along the roads. Additional roads will increase the ease of penetration into the dune vegetation and an ecological program must be put in place with the road construction program to control the collection of wood and harvesting of charcoal within the dunes protected area.
Pedestrians, a large proportion being scholars, use the road shoulders. The adequate maintenance of this infrastructure is required to avoid pedestrians walk on the road surface.
Daily commuters travel to town from the beach residential area in private vehicles as individuals or in lift clubs. The low car ownership prevails in the area and the commuting movement only results in low volumes of traffic.
Weekend commuters work in urban centres such as Maputo and return home over weekends. They make use of the bus services running along the main route between Maputo and the north and the service between the town and the beach.
Holiday visitors and tourists use private transport, often towing caravans or trailers, or tourist buses and safari vehicles. These transport users normally require a high level of service and facilities.
Existing Transport Infrastructure and Services
The existing transportation system is primarily roads based. Pedestrians use the road shoulders as facilities to walk and wait for public transport. Cycling was observed on the roads, but this mode of transport is not significant. Motorcycles are fairly numerous around the towns. Road safety for motor cyclists is not enforced as a serious issue, as no helmets are required. Road safety on the main route to the north, as manifested by the number of vehicle wrecks along the road, is problematic. This may be ascribed to the relative narrow roadway, ageing vehicle fleet and vehicles that are not roadworthy. Night driving appears to be especially dangerous due to animals on the roads and vehicles without proper lights. The secondary roads, carrying less traffic, do not exhibit the same frequency of wrecks. The average daily traffic, according to the provincial road maintenance engineer, on the road between the town and the beach is approximately 500 vehicles per day.
Sea travel is restricted to fishing and pleasure cruises. The local fishing industry is limited to ski boats launching off the beach. This is not considered a mobility need, though the provision of parking facilities and access to the beach is addressed.
Air travel is not yet an important mode of travel to Xai-Xai and the nearest landing strip is in the vicinity of the Xai-Xai town. Air travel may become an important travel mode for tourists if the area develops in a major tourist destination. No investigation was necessary with respect to a possible location of a landing strip in the environmentally sensitive coastal dune area, as the Xai-Xai airstrip could serve efficiently the beach area.