A rally nightmare for motorists in St Peter

Residents and motorists travelling in the northern parish of St Peter on Friday night were left stuck in traffic for approximately two and a half hours due to the 2017 SOL Rally Barbados.

Scores of parked vehicles and thousands of spectators resulted in gridlock along the Portland to Boscobel roadway, forcing those travelling along the route to sit in their vehicles until the races concluded.

The route from Portland to Welch Town was closed, with officials opening it twice to allow buses and others vehicles through.

Barbados Rally Association Public Relations Officer Neil Bernard has apologized to those who were affected.

He told Barbados TODAY that while the association factored in traffic flow in their initial planning, they failed to accurately estimate the large numbers of racing enthusiasts who would turn out to show their support.

“We had done some proper homework in trying to anticipate what the traffic flow and the wave of traffic would have been like. What we did not anticipate was the amount of spectators that would have turned up in that particular area,” Bernard explained.

He indicated that the association conducted a rigorous campaign, informing locals via social media and print media to desist from indiscriminately parking their vehicles, adding that spectators were also given designated parking areas.

But he said some opted out of the designated parking areas and double parked along the Charles Duncan O’Neal Highway to get a closer look at the action.

“The people were not willing to park as far down as All Saints Church and try and walk up the road so they were trying to get closer to where the road was closed and then there seemed to be a problem that occurred,” Bernard said.

“We can’t anticipate every eventuality, that is obviously impossible, but what we will do is that if we have something that needs work we are going to work on that and make sure we try and fix it and minimize any kind of inconvenience as far as we can.”

When contacted police Public Relations Officer, acting Inspector Roland Cobbler said they are aware of the situation.

“This type of disruption will come to the attention of the hierarchy in the Force and the Barbados Rally Association will have to go back to the drawing board with the Royal Barbados Police Force with how they plan and execute those plans,” he said.

56 Responses to A rally nightmare for motorists in St Peter

  1. Sheron Inniss June 4, 2017 at 12:50 pm

    I am glad that I do not own a car ’cause I would not be standing for this nonsense. No apologies.

  2. Shana Vanderwolf
    Shana Vanderwolf June 4, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    Bare freaking lies. Wanna already know damn well ppl does turn out in numbers for rally. Wanna just didn’t care about the people that wanted to get home. My friend caught the 930pm bus from town which got speightstown at 10pm and he did not get home until 2am because the bus couldn’t get through so therefore he had to walk that dark ass road through mistsom bottom to get to french village.

  3. Shana Vanderwolf
    Shana Vanderwolf June 4, 2017 at 1:01 pm

    Carson Thompson I lie?

  4. Carson Thompson
    Carson Thompson June 4, 2017 at 1:04 pm

    I am the one that experience this torment , and for someone to come and this story about parking at All Saints is a hoax

  5. Carol Gilkes
    Carol Gilkes June 4, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    I was one of these persons who after working the night shift had to sit and wait to get home

  6. Horace Boyce
    Horace Boyce June 4, 2017 at 1:21 pm

    Seibert Johnson spoke specifically bout dis nonsense during d week dese guys believe that when rally is goin on dem is a law unto dem ownselves its sad to see how dem does choke up main arteries dis nonsense must stop

  7. Rebellious Kelly
    Rebellious Kelly June 4, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    Rally coordinators don’t care about residents or any other road users. That’s why you all can continue to inconvenience ppl and talk crap about sorry for any inconvenience caused. Wunna ain’t sorry.

    • Justin Moore
      Justin Moore June 4, 2017 at 9:25 pm

      If the organizers don’t care about the residents, then I guess all that time the BRC members spend going through EVERY neighborhood where the rally passes through to hand out resident letters and put up notice boards is all just for giggles?

    • John Digger Benn
      John Digger Benn June 5, 2017 at 12:33 pm

      black people would not learn sense at all at all at all,let the rich white people drive bout in the cart roads and we stand home,dem don’t support nothing black people involved in.true or false

  8. Chris June 4, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Sheron its something you dont like so it would be a problem there are events that i dont like and it happens so what everyone gets affected one way our another sometimes

  9. Marilyn Weekes
    Marilyn Weekes June 4, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    Where were the police ? But then again, people park where ever they like and the authorities don’t do a thing about it. Most likely they are short staffed and paid very little, so why even notice

  10. Sam June 4, 2017 at 1:52 pm

    Every time there is rally this nonsense occurs why can’t rally be held during 2-5 am or why isn’t rally taken to the heights an terraces an inconvenience those who live in the upscale neighborhoods.It is totally ridiculous that I’m made to sit in my vehicle an wait for 2 hours after spending a long day at work. This is totally unacceptable and needs to be stopped.

  11. Javier Maynard
    Javier Maynard June 4, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    I was there, it was horrible, no police presence, first off you were driving and there was no indication that you could not pass until u got right there by the junction. Spent 4hrs there. There was a dibetic lady there who was in serious danger, luckily i had something sweet to help her. No respect was given to those going boscabelle or st. Andrew.

  12. Sean Chandler
    Sean Chandler June 4, 2017 at 2:37 pm

    The organizers know that traffic gets bad in certain areas and people will park where-ever they feel like and block the road. At spots like this a certain # of police officers are paid for in advance to be at these traffic trouble spots.

    The police sometime just don’t show up, and chaos ensues, as spectators don’t listen to marshals who’re trying to get them to park sensibly.

    But one is not allowed to criticize the RBPF publicly for not showing up.

    • Shana Vanderwolf
      Shana Vanderwolf June 4, 2017 at 5:57 pm

      So police is to work for free now? When these organizers don’t wanna pay for service?

    • Carolyn Gill Humphrey
      Carolyn Gill Humphrey June 5, 2017 at 9:06 am

      You have to sign a contract with the RBPF, and yes they get paid – in advance. So if the officers don’t show up then the organization is out the money and short-handed.

    • Sean Chandler
      Sean Chandler June 5, 2017 at 9:44 am

      Shana Vanderwolf the police are paid, in advance, to show up and work at specific spots to try and handle the traffic. Sometimes they just don’t show up.

    • Amelia Gittens
      Amelia Gittens June 5, 2017 at 9:48 am

      Sean Chandler lol paid and dont show up well well so police short of staff hahhah and when something happen then turn up, so ya gonna get a refund for no show smmmh seriosly

  13. everick June 4, 2017 at 3:11 pm

    I feel your pain.
    The Nation fun walk causes similar problems.

  14. Open minded June 4, 2017 at 3:38 pm

    They plan to close spring garden on Sundays so walkers can be safe they close it for cycling and no one complains I feel wunna pain but it happens in other things and nuffing is said and no money comes in from it

    • The Don June 5, 2017 at 5:57 am

      This is not a fair comparison. There are not many options for those that use that road (especially by bus) where the rally was on Friday night. A closed Spring Garden will not affect travellers nearly as much. I was there and saw at least 3 busses sitting in re mass of traffic stranded. I think the organisers must rethink this new stage when planning again.

  15. Dandan June 4, 2017 at 4:00 pm

    Is OK. Rallying soon done with the devaluation government put pon we.

  16. Cindy Bunting
    Cindy Bunting June 4, 2017 at 4:01 pm

    White privilege at play. Locals have no options but to wait

    • Lara Crofte
      Lara Crofte June 4, 2017 at 4:43 pm

      Wasn’t it mainly locals who would have blocked up the road with indiscriminate parking?

    • Cindy Bunting
      Cindy Bunting June 4, 2017 at 5:11 pm

      My opinion. Peace!

    • James Goddard
      James Goddard June 4, 2017 at 5:17 pm

      The majority were, in fact, black Bajans as seen in the picture… Motorsport is for everyone despite your racist delusional beliefs.

    • Cindy Bunting
      Cindy Bunting June 4, 2017 at 6:07 pm

      Oh the irony of course motorsport is for everyone. And of course I am entitled to my racist delusional beliefs. Obviously touched a nerve.

    • Damian Årskog
      Damian Årskog June 5, 2017 at 4:53 am

      Jesus. Ignorance at it’s best.

  17. Sean Gibbs
    Sean Gibbs June 4, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    This is all the police fault. They had every right to be there. They know full well that the road was going to be closed so spectators who come late can’t get in on the stage so they are going to park where they feel
    Like. Don’t blame the rally, they applied for and where granted all permissions by the rightful authorities. Police are paid to attend these events and don’t turn up, them lazy as ass. Barbados also has a thousand different ways to get to where you want to go so if you can’t pass turn around and go a different route. To tell me people wait over 2 hrs is a joke, they could drive round the island in that time.

    • Coralita June 4, 2017 at 5:51 pm

      Are you assuming that everyone knows the alternative roads???

      I had to tell some folks from overseas how to get out of the mess yesterday, they were just parked and did not know what to do. Just as I moved off another vehicle turned up and stopped, no doubt looking for a way out of the mess as well. Matter of fact, my brother gave me directions of how to get by him, else I would have been at a lost too.

      If the rally club had taken the time to put up some signs to point to an alternative road the problems would have been lessened. After all, they are the ones who has the main roads blocked.

  18. Damian Årskog
    Damian Årskog June 4, 2017 at 4:41 pm

    These people do not read the road closure notices?

    • Coralita June 4, 2017 at 6:00 pm

      I read one I saw at my mother’s house but I do not recall reading of alternative routes to get home and that people who live in the areas they have closed off will have to wait approximately 2 hrs to get in to their districts.

      The rally club needs to do more than just send out notices when they are shutting down the entrances and exits to people’s homes. Not everyone travel back roads and especially at night. I am sure if they outline alternative routes it would help ease the strain on residents.

  19. Teddy Bundy
    Teddy Bundy June 4, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    When cycling association have highways block I don’t hear people cry out about inconvenience smh

    • Cheryl Cumberbatch
      Cheryl Cumberbatch June 4, 2017 at 5:43 pm

      Neither cyclist nor rally have a right to prevent persons from reaching their homes.

  20. Coralita June 4, 2017 at 5:43 pm

    I had to drive through a back road in St. Lucy on Saturday to get to my destination. The road was unpaved and only fit for the Island Safari to travel. I need shocks for my car now.

    When I got back on the main road there were people from overseas waiting to get to Speightstown but had no clue how to get there while these people were having fun. They asked me how to get there and I gave them directions from the road I used but I didn’t tell them to prepare to drive through a ravine.

    The least that these rally people could have done was to clearly mark the alternative road so that all and sundry would know.

  21. An Dre
    An Dre June 4, 2017 at 6:31 pm

    Dont see what the problem ia here .notices were all the poles and on media.bet if it was cycling .not a word would be said

  22. Jalesa Best
    Jalesa Best June 4, 2017 at 7:42 pm

    This was me this morning very inconsiderate to residents who live in the district they letting the nuisances on bikes do as they like but you that have to go to & from your houses have no say & have to wait for at least an hour this morning the bus man decides to park in the middle of the road & claim he in’t moving I don’t think it’s fair that you don’t live in a district but you telling residents & mashalls you in’t moving the bus unless you getting to pass

  23. Lilpatrick Bourne
    Lilpatrick Bourne June 4, 2017 at 8:11 pm

    Are you all serious…. weeks before the event notices are posted in the media and on poles, it’s a yearly event and some of the stages are regular ones so it’s nothing New….. buses are allowed and residents are as well, I’m speaking from experience and if you have been stuck there tht means the stage was live and cars were on the course

  24. Dwayne Williams
    Dwayne Williams June 4, 2017 at 8:55 pm

    Why must anything to do with Motorsport end up with race discrimination?

  25. John Digger Benn
    John Digger Benn June 4, 2017 at 9:26 pm

    i ent get no sleep at all friday nite

  26. Javier Maynard
    Javier Maynard June 4, 2017 at 9:41 pm

    Tbh I saw the tents and fences up but there were no signs saying anything not everyone listens to radio providing they did use that as the communication device to people in the area. Maybe a sign or something could have helped. Fb is popular ain’t see no info there. Rally was good though just a bit inconvenienced it only happens a few days once a year so I get it but right is right. It’s how we do things. Men had Indian ground, pie corner and boscabelle buses lock down for 2 hrs, last buses and not a police in sight…… Wow

  27. Belfast June 4, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    This rally thing was going on for the last 70 or so years. I remember when the boys in the great house got together on a Sunday, downed a few drinks and then proceeded to speed /race through the village with their cars and motor cycles, and not a fellow in the district dare open his mouth, except to urge them on. Cause if it were differently, come Monday morning, he may find himself out of a job, and his chattel house moved off the plantation lands. 50 years after so-called independence , we are still being treated like the people in the plantation tenantry.

  28. Nicholas Mackie
    Nicholas Mackie June 4, 2017 at 11:45 pm

    When the Daytona 500 ends in Florida the traffic flowing out of that stadium roll block the outbound traffic from Daytona to the main highways for as much as 3 hrs … I have seen and experienced it first hand …. it’s called the cost of a successful event !

  29. The Negrocrat June 5, 2017 at 2:06 am

    While we are at it, let us also complain about the blocking of the Spring Garden Highway for Crop Over.
    We should be glad for the financial contribution that Rally Barbados is making to our economy.
    Then again, we have to find things to take our minds off more important things like the economy.

  30. Babs Lewis June 5, 2017 at 3:37 am

    Don’t let this happen again. Residents …come up with a solution that will not alliow them to do this to you. You have a right to your home. No police preaence then stand up for your rights. Do not ask the proverbial Bajan question .. ….What can I do? Where there is a will, there’s a way. Say no to two hours of your one life blocked and wasted.

  31. fedup June 5, 2017 at 6:36 am

    What is the purpose of it anyway? lol. Instead of wasting time in the hot sun perhaps the spectators and participants could spend some time reading a book or two.

  32. Kim June 5, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Soo wait. When station hill a major vein all the way down to spring Garden closed Kadooment day. Ppl don’t park and walk or wait or use alternate routes. Traffic back up all to the highway. Come on man if we are going to use colour and class use it appropriately, like in politics or jobs etc. Rally has been going on for years ppl just have to oppose because they view it as a bourgeois sport. For the love of life and being a bajan.
    Safety is a big concern. Would you rather asking the cars going at 180 to stop mid run to let the bus through or let the residents have the run of the road then the 4 hours designated to the sport would be extended or is it better for the sport not to take place at all @coralita. The organizer plan for the safety of the residents and! The busses that were held were held by unscrupulous ppl not wanting to move out of the road. BUSES ARE ALWAYS A PRIORITY. If a racecar is on the road and the road is closed it’s closed for the safety of the residents the spectators and the competitors alike. Let’s not show our ingnorance in a forum such as this. Let common sense prevail. Throw this energy at your Minister of Finance and the rest of his Flock as it seems he’s leading the pack.

  33. Frank White June 5, 2017 at 8:53 am

    I for one am against this rally nonsense whether representatives walked around and hand out flyers notifying residents of a rally. You can hold black communities to ransom especially when these communities have persons going home from a hard day’s work. This boils down to where the so called white community is allowed to fo whatever they want in this country and get away with it… If they want to conduct their races, do it in Westmoreland, sandy lane, even millennium heights but not in the black community. The communities that are effected should take some form of action to prevent it from happening again and all you black people who go out and support these so called white people should be shame and ….

  34. harry turnover June 5, 2017 at 9:15 am

    I used to always wonder how big hard back men and women would leave their homes to go and perch on top of ANYTHING sometimes trying to get as close to the action as they can JUST TO WATCH CARS going up and down, with dust flying all about the place and them skinning da teet and jumping up and down like da pison.
    If wunna want to hold a rally ,HOLD IT WHEN the LAST BUS has CLEARED the area on its way back down to town, and people gone home.
    Start around 1.30 AM and mek sure wunna dun BEFORE the FIRST BUS at 5 AM.
    You imagine after a HARD DAYS WUK,people getting to the Speightstown Terminal at 10.30 PM and getting home at 2.AM ?

  35. Milli Watt June 5, 2017 at 9:24 am

    black people being a nuisance to other black people and a lighter shade of grey smiling all the way to the bank. wunnuh shuld be still waiting all now

  36. Amelia Gittens
    Amelia Gittens June 5, 2017 at 9:45 am

    I was stuck from all the way to St Albans and was like WTF traffice very long then to reach stown and see all this crap got whole place confuse ppl all over place smhhh, Friday when ppl just wanna get home

  37. Fabian Clarke June 5, 2017 at 11:12 am

    So will you all be singing this tune for Crop Over 2017 when we the residents of St. Michael are effect by block roads, back up traffic and late buses.

  38. Rickie Nurse June 5, 2017 at 7:12 pm

    I am reading some of the most ridiculous comments here that have both a mixture of ignorance and stupidity combined. First off, rallying is not a Bajan thing that the white people does, rallying is an international sport that is done on every single continent on earth with the exception of Antarctica. As some are suggesting here why can’t they do it in the Heights and terraces and inconvenience the rich, they only doing it to poor black people with no regard, that is nonsense. Rallying is always held in the rural side of any country few residential locations and wide open space according to where it is being held. Barbados just happened to be a small island, so are you people suggesting that rally be band from here simply because of a few delays that might occur? No one complains when that same section of the island is inconvenience by the same bottleneck traffic, complete vehicular restrictions and the same indiscriminate parking. No whimpering no whispering, not a sound is heard.

    Secondly, the stupidity factor, stop stop dragging race, colour and class into everything as soon as it is something that seem to be favoured by a few with the means to do so. Kadooment Day the traffic is locked down for way more than four hours, you don’t hear or get these kind of responses, Foreday morning jam the exact same thing occurs, you don’t hear or get these kind of responses, why? Because it is favoured more by the majority. That should not make rallying less acceptable by society and robbed those of us who are true rally fans and the competitors of a sport that is both fun and entertainment for us. For a certainty, Rally Barbados brings in millions of dollars every year whenever it comes around and that is by overseas competitors shipping cars and equipment here for the event, friends and family who spend freely as tourists and guest both regionally and internationally.

    Back to the stupidity, some are saying that if rally is to be held do it after a certain time and make sure it’s finished by a certain time. I will put my neck on the block, that if that was to be implemented, you same people will be back here complaining again about the loud noises from the cars disturbing your night rest and stopping you from sleeping knowing that people have to go to work in the morning time.

    Just to burst the the race card bubble, black Bajans have been involved in rally from the very early days and they are still in it today, stop pulling the race card where it is not warranted. Some of you do, say and allow certain things to be done to other black Bajans that you will not do, say or allow to be done to others, so what does that say about you? Don’t be conveniently selective.

  39. Fabian Clarke June 6, 2017 at 7:58 am

    Well said Rickie Nurse I tip my hat to you sir.

  40. Sheron Inniss June 10, 2017 at 8:59 pm

    Traffic is not locked down for Kadooment. There are several alternative routes. The same can’t be said for up north. Just because 10 persons jump in a well does not make it right and I surely would not be following. They would have had to call the police for me ’cause I did gine through.


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