BMW driver proud to be last Koeberg lane cutter

As the new ramp from the M5 North onto the N1 North was opened this morning, with it ended an years-old tradition for many Capetonians – the opportunity to cut-in to the queuing traffic at Koeberg Interchange.

In a press release announcing the opening, a city spokeswoman stated:

The question, much posed in the local media and at parties, as to whether you would describe yourself as a “cutter” or a “queuer” is now no longer valid. The opening of this new ramp will end a great deal of animosity from those who queue, who have endured a great deal of ridicule from the cutting fraternity. This will reduce the negative energy during rush hour and make Cape Town an even nicer place to be: there’s also a wonderful view of Table Mountain from the new bridge.
Drivers will now be able to sail freely through this bottleneck and continue their journey towards Canal Walk and the Boerewors Curtain without delay. Motorists should stay left if they wish to join the N1 North, take the middle lane if they are heading for the city and choose the right lane for the M5 to Milnerton or just for old time’s sake.

The honour of being the final cutter was taken by Chantelle Wessels, a sales manager from Durbanville: a moment caught on the newly-installed Freeway Management System (FMS) cameras at the junction:

I are proud to be the one who is taking this honour. I think I can like to claim it not just for me, but for all the sales managers and aggressive type-A personality go-getters everywhere, and also for all BMW drivers – especially those with CY number plates.
We don’t have the time to hang around in these queues like sheep. We are needing to go out and make money in order to gaudily furnish our Tuscan-style mansions.  Only this morning, I have sold 2 boxes of folded paper towels and some hand cleanser: that sale wouldn’t have happened until 4 minutes later if I hadn’t cut into the queue.

However, Lester Swart – a former queuer – says he will miss the people cutting into the N1-bound traffic:

Yes, I will miss it. It gave me a challenge on the way to work: defending my place in the queue. There’s a great degree of skill involved: it’s clutch control and passive aggressiveness together that goes into pretending to be unaware of a vehicle on your left hand side trying to slip into the line of cars in front of you and blocking it. I would always count it as a big success when I stopped them getting directly in front of me and forced them to join the line a few cars ahead instead.
Now that opportunity for satisfaction has gone. I will miss it, yes.

But overall, the response to the new ramp and bridge was positive. With the city promising that it would cut up to 8 minutes off journeys to the Northern suburbs, many commuters said that they would prefer to spend their up to 8 minutes extra time anywhere but Bellville and were looking forward to up to an extra 8 minutes in bed each morning.