Bad roads affecting motorists, businesses in Job Lane, Angels


Bad roads affecting motorists, businesses in Job Lane, Angels

Observer writer

Monday, January 18, 2021

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MOTORISTS and business owners are getting impatient because of the time it is taking to repair bad roads in Angels and Job Lane, both in Spanish Town, St Catherine. The bad road conditions, they say, is causing them to lose money.

One such business is Fesco gas station, located on Angels Plaza. “Yes enuh, more people use to come [to the gas station] and because of the bad road dem a say them cah bother to come down here so,” said Althea McDermott, a service attendant, when asked if business was affected by the road conditions. McDermott further stressed that she and other attendants face difficulties in getting to work. “Because of the [bad] road, sometimes we can't even get taxi to come work because the taximan them say them can't bother to come down here so. Everybody has been complaining about the road,” said McDermott.

A taxi driver who operates on the Angels route said the poor road condition has affected him personally. The taxi operator, who asked not to be named, said: “It affecting me real real bad because when you drive through this, it mash up your front end; and a nuff money, and it [costs] several thousands [of dollars] to fix it. Everybody is complaining about it right now. Everyday me complain. It slow we up cause it causes a lot of traffic and it actually a mash up the car dem,” said the driver. The taxi driver told the Jamaica Observer that he would really appreciate the road being fixed “right now”, saying it is taking too long.

Frequent motorist Joseph Lewis, who traverses that path to get to work and return home, said the condition of the road has caused several near misses. Lewis mentioned that he narrowly avoided quite a few accidents as motorists (oncoming traffic) will drive on their right side, which is better, to avoid potholes. “I have fallen into one of the craters, damaging a section of my vehicle's front end,” said Lewis.

The cries were similar at Job Lane.

As in Angels, businesses and motorists in that area said they are frustrated with the conditions of the road and the time it is taking for the repairs to be carried out.

Jesse, a Job Lane taxi driver, said the road is in such a poor state that he sometimes has to avoid using it.

Another motorist shared a similar view, “You don't have to ask, sometime me afraid to come through here so. [It] terrible, man. Bad bad, bad!” The motorist told the Observer that he would not mind if the workmen show up tomorrow and commence the repairs.

Business owners on Links Plaza, located on Job Lane and directly in front of one of the big potholes, shared their frustration about the dust coming from the bad section of the road and the negative impact it has been having on their operation.

“And when you park your car outside, it full a dust. I also had to fix the car the other day as the pothole tears off the engine guard underneath the engine because it deep, and by time you climb up to come in the plaza, that happen,” said an entrepreneur who rents a shop space on the plaza.

Another entrepreneur on the plaza who gave her name only as Ann-Marie, also lamented the difficulties they face when it rains. “When the rain falls we cannot cross; it is really that bad,” said said, adding that water settles in the pothole for a while.

When asked about the seven million dollars allocated by Prime Minister Andrew Holness late 2020 to patch the roads damaged by the rainfall in each constituency, Stephen Shaw, manager of communication and customer services at National Works Agency, said “From the get-go it was stated that the money would not be able to do much in respect to the roads that would have been damaged.” He stressed that in any one constituency there may be more than 50 roads to be fixed and therefore the agency has to look at the entire network. “The fact that you have not seen any work or much work on that particular road does not necessarily mean that the money is not being spent,” said Shaw. Money, he said, was definitely not available to do every road and so some, including in the Corporate Area, are left out.

Members of Parliament, said Shaw, cannot do anything to have roads fixed outside of a structure.

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