PM out of touch with pothole crisis – Sutherland

Insensitive to say the very least!

That’s how the Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has described Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s response to what it is calling “Barbados’ pothole epidemic”.

In a statement Friday evening, BLP spokesman Dwight Sutherland also took Member of Parliament for St Lucy Denis Kellman to task for suggesting that potholes save lives.

Sutherland also accused Minister of Transport & Works Michael Lashley of coming with a “flash-in-the-pan response” to a problem for which there is simply no “quick-fix” solution.

However, Sutherland reserved his harshest criticism for Stuart, who suggested during a reception for visitors at Ilaro Court on Wednesday night that the entire pothole situation, which has generated national outrage, had been blown out of proportion since potholes should be viewed as an understandable and expected “inconvenience”.

“Clearly he does not find time to travel across Barbados incognito as much as he suggested he does, or he would realize that potholes are more than just an inconvenience to motorists and cyclists,” Sutherland said in response to the Prime Minister.

The Opposition Member of Parliament for St George South pointed out that many motorists had suffered damage to their vehicles as a result of dropping into potholes. He also highlighted the fact that potholes were often the reason pedestrians were splashed, and that on a few occasions they were also responsible for collisions.

He therefore deemed it “unfortunate” that the Prime Minister would seek to make light of this situation “after his minister Denis Kellman mocked Barbadians by suggesting potholes save lives.

“It clearly demonstrates the insensitivity and lack of caring this Government has for the people of Barbados,” the Opposition spokesman added.

Sutherland, a qualified mechanical engineer who has worked for two decades in the cement industry, also poured cold water on a “cement” fix announced by Lashley earlier this week. He said while he supported a concrete solution to the problem, which he said was currently plaguing “99.9 per cent of Barbados’ roads”, it needed to form part of a comprehensive road rehabilitation plan, which would also require funding.

However, Sutherland was adamant that “it can’t be approached in this hot and sweaty manner by minister Lashley, as if he is Rip Van Winkle now waking up to realize that his Government’s eight years of not doing any serious maintenance work on the roads can be erased overnight just by patching potholes.

“It can’t work so,” Sutherland insisted.

“What the minister needs to do is to get his technical people to examine how the three loans totalling nearly $40 million that Government has been able to secure, which he has made a song and dance about, can be best utilized to rehabilitate the worst potholes’ infected highways and primary roads first,” he said, adding that “the public would likely tolerate this inconvenience, to use Prime Minister Freundel Stuart’s words for potholes, as it would be a long-term solution in their interest”.

5 Responses to PM out of touch with pothole crisis – Sutherland

  1. Carson C Cadogan January 7, 2017 at 11:12 am

    “Potholes repair bill ‘to reach £14bn by 2020’, amid warnings this year will be ‘tipping point'”

    Councils have warned that 2017 could be a “tipping point” for tackling potholes.

    Analysis by the Local Government Association (LGA) showed the bill for repairing roads in England and Wales could reach £14bn within two years.

    This is several times more than councils’ entire annual revenue spending on highways and transport, which was £4.4bn in England during 2016.

    Statistics from the Asphalt Industry Alliance (AIA) show the amount needed to repair roads rose from £9.8bn in 2012 to £11.8bn last year.”

    The Independent(England)

    Potholes all over the World as Govts. apply various solutions.

    Reply
    • Sunshine Sunny Shine January 8, 2017 at 1:50 pm

      Is Barbados in England? We are interested in what is happening in Barbados, not England. Face the reality that your administration is all messed up in the head. You spend money where you think you need to spend it and situations like the pothole crisis you find convenient excuses. Your Prime Minister had all the praise for his independence celebrations pet peeve. Now that is over back to telling Barbadians that they are a bunch of …..

      Reply
      • Carson C Cadogan January 10, 2017 at 7:24 pm

        Not “your Prime Minister” but OUR Prime Minister.

        The fixing of pot holes started way back in Nov. 2016. I wish that the Bajan news media would point that out to you.

        Like many regions around the World with issues of pot holes, New York, London, Essex, Ontario to name a few, the Barbados Govt. is working on fixing pot holes as they have to.

        For your information pot holes are such a problem world wide that the Ford Motor Company test track incorporates potholes and road hazards from around the world.

        Reply
  2. Rickie Nurse January 7, 2017 at 11:55 am

    The Prime Minister’s response to this issue is of the same magnitude of insensitivity, callousness and contempt for the people, which he showed in a similar response when he responded to Owen Arthur’s solution for a stimulus plan, during the 2013 election campaign, that would have helped bouyed the economy at the time and put money in the people’s pocket, his contemptuous response was, ” put money in the people’s pocket? if they want money, let them go to the drug dealers”. He just doesn’t have ANY GOOD LEADERSHIP QUALITIES and the people need to be ever mindful of this and act in the appropriate manner when he and his misfits come begging at your doors for the X to show confidence in them.

    Reply
  3. Saga Boy January 7, 2017 at 12:49 pm

    The PM never said forget about the potholes. That was a spin by the newspapers. He never used those words. He was merely making the point that there are potholes all over the world and that tourists would not find it strange when they saw pot holes.

    Reply

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