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Too much congestion on our roads – Worrell

Barbados needs a reliable public transportation system that utilizes modern technology and encourages motorists to leave their vehicles at home, Government Senator Andre Worrell told the Senate yesterday.

To improve the existing system, he said, routes would have to be more interconnected, with depots in more areas and buses travelling from one end of the island to the other, instead of focusing on Bridgetown; buses would have to stick to schedule to give commuters the confidence they could get to their destinations on time; and technology could also be utilized – in the form of an app, for instance – so that commuters know when their buses could be expected to arrive.

“If we work those things out, in terms of changing our public transportation network and improving it, you would find that you would reduce the number of vehicles of the road and reduce the level of congestion,” Worrell said during debate on a resolution to approve the compulsory acquisition of several parcels of lands to improve the road infrastructure under the Warrens Traffic Safety Improvement Project.

“Barbados does not have the physical land space, such as places like Trinidad or Jamaica, that we could even consider going to a six-lane highway. . . . [Therefore] one of the best ways of managing [the traffic] is by providing adequate public transportation.”

In response to problems of traffic congestion, he reiterated a suggestion made earlier by Senator Dr Esther Byer-Suckoo that flexi-time be implemented, and offered the idea that more recreational activity be provided in Warrens to encourage people working there to delay their departure from the area on evenings, as a means of reducing rush-hour traffic.

“Many of the offices that operate in Warrens still work on the eight to 4:30 [p.m.] basis. It is a headache trying to get to Warrens at eight o’clock in the morning. When you think about all the productive time that people waste on the road trying to navigate traffic, we really need to look at that,” Worrell said. “We have to look at traffic management and how it impacts on productivity in the workplace.”

4 Responses to Too much congestion on our roads – Worrell

  1. dave May 13, 2016 at 5:44 am

    Barbados has always had a challenge with Transportation. SUGGESTION: Allow private cars to transport passengers for a fee which could be the same as the amount charge for bus fare. This would give citizens an opportunity to make some monry in these hard economic times but we like to regulate and control everything . Private citizens using their cars similar to what happens in Trinidad would help to semi- privatize Transportation in this country.

  2. Sue Donym May 13, 2016 at 7:09 am

    This might shock you @dave, but transportation in Barbados is already somewhat privatised and cars that collect people for a fee are called taxis.

    Regulation and control are important for the safety and protection of vehicle owners, passengers and the rest of the public. It’s essential to have minimum physical and safety standards when agreeing to accept fares; additionally there are insurance provisions required. There needs to be testing that ensures that the driver can handle the vehicle with the likely weights in varying conditions. And how do you address the fact that you’re now allowing uncontrolled activity to cut deeply into the business of the already regulated sectors?

    What government first needs to do is to undertake a comprehensive study of the transport patterns and requirements of travellers and work from there to assess what’s needed in the mix of types of transport. This must also be viewed against plans for physical development and expansion, taking into account expected residential, commercial and government activity.

  3. Thomas Browne May 13, 2016 at 11:56 am

    As with many things in Barbados a comprehensive study needs to be undertaking by those qualified in such things (and I have little doubt that Barbados has access to highly qualified transport planning professions). Together with the engagement with the many stakeholders, a short/medium/long term strategy and plan needs to be formulated and then crucially we neeed to be brave enough to make the CHANGES that are needed to move to a better place. Otherwise, ten years from now we will still be talking about the same issues and the politicians of the day will continue to play politics at the expense of us all. These challenges are not unique to Barbados. What appears to be unique though is our fear of CHANGE.

  4. jrsmith May 14, 2016 at 9:24 am

    Privatize the transport system that’s finding the right people who know how to manage a transport system. This would stabilize the whole transport infrastructure..

    There was talk some time ago of small fly overs on the motorway, that was one of the best logical ideas ever adding to the transport system in Barbados.

    In the areas from the (Y ) to Chapel Gap through to Warrens the issue is through traffic imposing itself on the local traffic, which causes the congestion, if they was a flyover at each roundabout especially at the warrens roundabout all direct traffic would be above the local traffic at all times…


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