Parish Council says long-awaited gazetting of transport park expected soon
SANTA CRUZ, St Elizabeth — For years residents of this south central town have had to contend with taxis and bus operators clogging the west end's sidewalks and plazas.
Repeated promises by the authorities that transport operators will be forced to move to their designated parking area created in 2008, just south of the Santa Cruz market, opposite the Scotia Bank on Main Street, have failed to materialise.
The problem has been that official parliamentary gazetting of the taxi/bus park, which will make it compulsory for transport operators to use it, has not taken place.
However, secretary manager of the Black River Parish Council David Gardner believes the longed-for gazetting will soon take place.
"We had a tour of the Santa Cruz market (recently)," Gardner told Jamaica Observer Central. "The member of parliament (Raymond Pryce) and others from (central Government) were there and they have promised us that they are going to be following up at their level with the gazetting," said Gardner.
Additionally, he said, "the office of the chief parliamentary council... have promised us to make sure it happens and happens very quickly ..."
The news will be welcomed by the St Elizabeth police who have persistently complained about the situation.
Head of police anti-crime operations in St Elizabeth, Deputy Superintendent Lanford Salmon told Observer Central that the current situation was a challenge to law and order in Santa Cruz.
"As you know, criminals thrive on congestion," said Salmon. "So what we have here is a matter of public order and we hope the authorities move with great dispatch to provide the legal authority so that transport operators can be compelled to stop parking on the street and go to their designated area," he said.
The designated public passenger parking area was created following a massive fire which destroyed a ramshackle vendors' arcade there. The burnt-out vendors were subsequently located north of the market building.