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A minibus operator has used some unusual words to describe the state of the roads on the Kingstown-Richland Park route.

“My road that I am working on — Mespo/Richland Park—at least from Fountain right up to Richland Park and, for the longest time now, I heard them speaking about the road going and do, the road going and do and nothing, absolutely nothing was done on the road. They just recently finished the road round in La Croix and it’s like swimming pool we have in there. That’s not road anymore, that’s swimming pool. The road is no good.,” Leonard Keil, secretary of the National OmniBus Association (NOBA) told a press conference on Tuesday.

“And it’s very ridiculous that we pay so much of money for insurance and licence, we have no road to work on. You buy some parts today for your van, but next week you have to buy back the parts them,” he said.

Motorists travelling to Mesopotamia have had to use a bypass road since a section of the Belmont Road collapsed in 2013.

The government had said that the repairs would have taken eight months, but the road is yet to be repaired.

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Speaking about the by-pass road, Keil said: “I mean come back on the bypass road, it’s chaos, especially on mornings and evenings. And it’s time enough for we van man and van owners do something if the road is not getting done. It’s ridiculous.”

Leonard Keil
Leonard Keil, secretary of the National OmniBus Association. (iWN photo)

Speaking at the same press conference, President of NOBA, Anthony “Code Red” Bacchus, said that with the upgrade of the South Leeward highway almost complete, his organisation has spoken to the Transport Board and the Traffic Department about bus stops.

Bacchus noted that after leaving the Leeward Bus Terminal, the next bus stop along the South Leeward Highway is at Stoney Ground, adding that this “is ridiculous”.

NOBA is asking for a bus stop around the corner from the main entrance of the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital.

“We would like to see the yellow sign there and a bus stop sign there. We would like to see another bus stop by Water Authority, because people from all over… go to the Water Authority to pay their bills,” he said.

He said NOBA would also like to see the zoning and line-up system implemented.

“We know that this will eliminate the recklessness on the road, the dog-eat-dog mentality, chasing each other down, who can get the first chassis or get in Tokyo or reach up to Greiggs or Georgetown, the first one back. This one causes accidents, this cause a lot of problems.”

He said NOBA has put many proposals to the government requesting this type of operation with the transport system

“We are complaining about the reckless driving. We can ask but we need legislation to go into place,” Bacchus said at the press conference at which he announced that three insurance companies are refusing to insure minivans because of the high liability.

Bacchus said that in the same way that the government says they will remove music from vans, they should also curb the recklessness and introduce zoning and line-up system.

“This is the only country in the Caribbean that does not have a zone and line-up system… If we get tourists in our country, we would like the tourists to be pleased and comfortable when using these minibuses. And as long as we don’t have legislation, we are going to have problems in Tokyo and outside of Tokyo. The turning back and so forth, all this should be eliminated… The zoning and line-up system will eliminate the entire turning back and so forth,” Bacchus said, referring to the practice of some minibus operators to ask passengers to disembark before getting to the bus terminal, so that they can take up commuters travelling in the opposite direction.