Sandz says sorry

Observer writer

Wednesday, January 03, 2018

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IN the wake of public outcry following Monday's lengthy traffic delays and gridlock on the Palisadoes strip in east Kingston, organisers of the beach party Sandz — held at 7th Harbour — have issued an apology.

The party promoters cite “non-cooperation of the patrons with the parking arrangements” as the cause for the mayhem.

The pile-up along the corridor, which leads to Norman Manley International Airport, caused severe inconvenience to people arriving in the island as well as those departing.

“We would like to apologise for any inconveniences caused by the traffic on the Palisadoes strip. It is important to note that traffic recommendations were raised and agreed to before permission was granted to use the venue. Security plans were shared with and approved by all superior bodies, consisting of the hiring of police patrol on the strip, the rental of additional parking spaces/shuttle buses, advertising of the designated parking, and the placement of adequate signage on the road,” said Andrew Ellis, director of Supreme Team Limited — organisers of Sandz, in a release to the Jamaica Observer yesterday.

“Despite the efforts made from the promoters' end, there was a breakdown in the enforcement due to non-cooperation of the patrons with the parking arrangements, which in turn led to parking in unauthorised spaces, causing the build-up of traffic.

“We would like to give a special thanks to those patrons who cooperated with the officials and made use of the designated parking lot. We would also like to use this opportunity to appeal to all patrons and Jamaicans in general that law and order should be followed in all activities, and it is our belief that we can all party together while still following the rules and best practices set by governing bodies. Thanks for the support and over the past few years and we will continue to make improvements to our product to ensure that our patrons have the best experience possible with minimal disturbance to the public at large,” the release continued.

The traffic backed up all the way to Rockfort. Motorists also created several lanes, which contributed to congestion.

Passengers who had arrived on incoming flights had to wait for hours to be picked up, while those booked for outgoing flights got out of cars trapped in the gridlock and began walking with their luggage in hand towards the airport.

Police Commissioner George Quallo said he would be meeting with the commanding and area officers, after which he would have a “comprehensive update” on the matter.

“It is a very unfortunate situation, but those deemed responsible will be held accountable,” he told Observer.

Mayor of Kingston and St Andrew Delroy Williams who, along with the police, granted permission for the event to be staged, said he regretted the incident.

“We sincerely regret the tremendous inconvenience caused to visitors, airline personnel, airport employees and residents of Kingston and St Andrew. The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation will not be issuing any further amusement licence for events along the Palisadoes Road in the short term, and will meet with all ministries and agencies to determine our medium to long-term position,” he said.

Started in 2014, Sandz is held four times yearly.




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