Transport overhaul still coming – Lashley
Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley says Government is proceeding with its promised overhaul of the public transportation system.
And if all goes according to plan, the comprehensive changes should be laid in the House of Assembly in another three months.
“Hopefully in June we should be bringing the road traffic amendments to this Parliament,” Lashley said Wednesday during debate on the 2017/2018 Estimates of Revenue and Expenditure.
The minister pointed out that as a result of the legislative changes, which affect both the Transport Authority Act and the Road Traffic Act, Government’s transport inspectors, working in tandem with the Royal Barbados Police Force, would have more power of enforcement.
Provision is also made for the introduction of an electronic vehicle registration system, which would require manufacturers of licence plates to register with the Barbados Licensing Authority.
Lashley said this should redound not only to better monitoring and inspection of road users, but also improved tax collection.
“That programme is on its way, of course it has gone to the special tenders committee and we are waiting until that is completed, so that we have an efficient collection of road taxes through the use of technology and through the impending road traffic amendment,” Lashley said.
Going forward, it will also be an offence to park in spaces reserved for the disabled, he also reminded.
And on the heels of concerns raised Wednesday Member of Parliament for St John Mara Thompson about the unreliable service provided by the state-run Transport Board, Lashley said the problem was one of a shortage of buses.
He explained that buses were last purchased for the Transport Board in 2006 and given that its aging fleet dates back to 1996, challenges have also arisen in terms of sourcing parts.