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Easing the squeeze

budgetdebate2013michaellashleyMinister of Transport and Works, Michael Lashley, is concerned about “cramped” conditions at the Transport Board and plans to do something about it.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday on a supplementary resolution, which included $500,000 for repairs to the statutory body’s Weymouth, St. Michael headquarters and its various depots, the St. Philip North representative also said latest plans to improve bus terminals in city would engage Cabinet soon.

“We recognise that space is limited at the Transport Board headquarters, particularly even the UCAL operation. It is extremely cramped. The other areas, particularly the quality assurance building, all of those areas need space and some time in the future we will have to look at constructing a new Transport Board headquarters so that the workers will be in a more comfortable environment,” he said.

“We continue to effect repairs to the terminals. There is a proposal which of course will be going to the infrastructure committee of Cabinet very shortly.

“There was a proposal before for the construction of a new Fairchild Street Bus Terminal to the tune of at least $25 million and taking into account what we intend to do we also have to incorporate the ZR terminal over at the River terminal.

“Anyone can take a visit across there and see the condition of that terminal and recognise that there is an urgent need to redevelop and it will be part of the Fairchild Street Bus Terminal development. And the fact is that we have numerous buildings going up out there now some with permission, some without permission and we are basically and slowly developing what we would call a shanty place.”

Lashey said while some repairs had been done by the current Government “there is a need to do a whole total new development and incorporate it”.

“Shortly we will be also constructing the terminal at Cheapside, what we call the Seaview Terminal, again improving the conditions of the traveling public of course, the workers of the Transport Board and the workers of the private sector,” he stated.

The minister said Government was also repairing several of its buildings, especially within the context of the new Safety and Health at Work Act.

“We have new legislation in place that places a burden and an obligation on the Government to ensure that public workers operate in a safe environment,” he said.

“Before we had this legislation of course we had to rely on the common law but now we have legislation in place that places statutory obligation on the Government… We have continued to carry out repairs on the old National Insurance Building, that being a major problem when I was at the Ministry of Housing and Lands.” (SC)

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