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Poor planning by Govt to be blamed for road congestion, says PNP

Thursday, September 13, 2018

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — Leader of the People's National Party (PNP) Dr Peter Phillips is rubbishing what he said are claims by the Andrew Holness-led Government that it was forced to undertake major road works along a number of critical Corporate Area corridors all at the same time because of implementation delays by the previous PNP administration.

According to Dr Phillips, the Holness government is being disingenuous in its attempt to pass off its incompetence on others.

Dr Phillips, in a release today, argued that the PNP administration was about ready to break ground when the general elections came and as such the implementation schedule was delayed, starting with the Mandela Highway.

“We started the Barbican Road improvement with land acquisition in the Barbican area as well as along the Hagley Park Road corridor. I know for a fact also that the design work in relation to the Portia Simpson Miller Square and Hagley Park Road was completed, but was redesigned by the current government before the major construction commenced,” Phillips said.

“I find it quite strange that when they think it is all very good they claim it as their own project in totality, but when they implemented it poorly they say it is because of the People's National Party,” he added.

Prime Minister Holness, in explaining the execution of road works on major Corporate Area road corridors at the same time, said that stipulations by the Chinese lending agency dictated that the funds, which were negotiated long ago, be used within a prescribed time or they would be withdrawn.

“Use it or lose it, Minister without Portfolio in the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation , Daryl Vaz declared at the Post Cabinet press briefing at Jamaica House yesterday in reference to the Chinese road-building loan.

However, Phillips argued that the PNP is not responsible for the dislocation that has dogged the project.

“We did not tell them to dig up all of the Internet connections that is putting people in the Hagley Park Road area, part of which is my constituency, out of business. That is just poor implementation,” Phillips contended.

“These are loan funds, not grant funds, and as such they can talk to the bankers. The Chinese are not going to shut down the project if you tell them that you want to start the project six months after one project is completed, so that we don't close down the city all at one time,” he said.

“When we were in office, we had to redesign and remake the Causeway and we never had this kind of chaos because we were able to keep necessary lanes open for vehicular traffic. It is just poor planning to have four major corridors in the city either all being closed down or impeded at one time.”

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