Health hazard

Better facilities needed for PSV workers, passengers, says Lashley

Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley has declared the River Terminal an environmental and health hazard and he and other officials have promised to fix some of the problems with “immediacy”.

Lashley said today that authorities were examining the possibility of transforming the building to the north of the van stand, which he said was still structurally sound and already had bathroom facilities, into a new terminal.

Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley with members of the Royal Barbados Police Force during a tour of the River Terminal today. 
Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley along with officials from his ministry, the Ministry of Health, and police officers, during a tour of the River Terminal today.

“I want to provide better facilities for the minibus owners, drivers, conductors and ZR drivers and conductors. I think we owe them that,” the minister said following a tour of the facility this morning.

“For years they have been neglected and I think that we have the infrastructure here that we can build on. Once we have the finances we will go ahead and start to improve,” he added, indicating that he wanted work to start before the end of the year and that a police outpost as well as posts for inspectors and security would be accommodated in the new facility.

However, Lashley could not say how much the project was likely to cost or how it would be funded.

His comments came as he toured the River Terminal, along with officials from his ministry, the Ministry of Health, and police officers, just over 12 hours after he reported to his constituents on what he had seen on a previous visit to the facility.

A tour of the River terminal revealed piles of rubbish, as well as drainage and other problems, including lack of running water and bathroom facilities.
A tour of the River terminal revealed piles of rubbish, as well as drainage and other problems, including lack of running water and bathroom facilities.

Addressing a meeting at his St Philip North branch last night, Lashley said was appalled at the state of the terminal.

“No running water, no toilets, shacks being built . . . Drainage is a problem out there to some extent and it is an environmental and health hazard. There is no regulation out there; the stall owners got permission from the Ministry of Agriculture, not from us,” he said, to gasps from some of those gathered.

Lashley also reported that he had received information that there were about 100 stalls operating in the area.

Explaining that most of the vendors at the terminal began plying their trade before the Transport Authority Act came into effect, Lashley said it was a matter his ministry would have to further investigate.

“I would really like to find out whether some built with Town Planning permission. It is really a total mess. The travelling public passes through there and those small businesspeople need proper facilities. We have to do something for them,” he said.

Following today’s near two-hour tour of the terminal, director of transport at the Transport Authority Alex Linton also expressed concern about how the stalls were constructed and said officials would be addressing the issue with “immediacy”.

“We are also concerned about their proximity to one another and also what they are actually selling to the public. That is a health concern because we recognize that some of them do not have the necessary sanitary facilities in place,” Linton said.

“Then we realize the garbage that is lying around. I know the terminal workers do their utmost but some individuals do block, with their structures, access to areas that need some serious cleaning. So we are taking a look at this seriously over the next couple of weeks and may even sooner try to get some personnel in here to do some cleaning and sanitize the area to make it healthier for commuters and the public in general.

“We will be coming back out, maybe not with the full team that was here this morning, but we will be back out taking a look critically at these areas and improving them as soon as possible,” Linton added.,

4 Responses to Health hazard

  1. Alex Alleyne March 10, 2015 at 6:07 am

    The ZR bus stand is not only a “health hazard” its also a ZOO.

  2. Alva Holdipp-Hope
    Alva Holdipp-Hope March 10, 2015 at 6:30 am

    So how many years even after upgrading nothing over there has really changed???? Pls now

  3. Tony Webster March 10, 2015 at 7:10 am

    “However, Lashley could not say how much the project would cost, or how it would be funded”. Wow! De “plan” is almost complete..on the back of napkin somewhere.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, if Chris was not there to actually drive this particular bus, and like, say “We have an estimate of $55M, and an indication of interest from from C.D.B. / ANSA Merchant bank/ IADB…he might still have attended the nice get-together …to provide some shred of substance and credibility?
    Anyhew, all wunna could relax…I see a mini-bus coming down de gap…and it number is B2018. Relax…all in good time.

  4. ian brathwaite March 10, 2015 at 3:48 pm

    After reading this article i am amazed that ministry is now visiting the ZR bus stand.I just return from barbados and was shocked at how unorganized the ZR bus stand was being ran. I think Ministry should start taking public opinions and considering the most viable ideas that are proposed ,especially from the commuters who uses these ZR’s.If i could voice my oppinion i would suggest firstly, sectioning off the bus stand in half and start repaving the surface.Secondly,I would put up signage of where the ZR should park and what the outbound destinations are
    third,ample flood lighting to brighten up that area. the stalls should all be similar in strucrure so that the visitors can roam around free of cluster and confusion.Utilize the existing infastructure for the bartroom facilities.make sure the bathrooms has plenty of light and air infultrated blocks to keep them refreshed.for the safety of the passengers routine tire pressure and thread,breaks and structs checks .
    thanks for reading


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