Taxi troubles!

Taxi troubles!

... but Mandeville's Mayor holds out hope

Monday, June 17, 2019

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester - Mayor of Mandeville Donovan Mitchell is hoping that in “the next couple of months” an additional parking area will be available in this south-central town for transport operators.

Mitchell, who is the Peoples National Party (PNP) councillor for the Royal Flat Division indicated that discussions were “far advanced” with private property owners to find appropriate space.

Currently many taxi operators park on the roadway close to the town centre causing extreme traffic congestion and often leading to tension with the police.

There was more such tension last Wednesday (June 12) as protesting taxi operators used their cars to block traffic, causing chaos and confusion between late morning and early afternoon.

The protest followed efforts by police to remove them from the roadway on Manchester Road - above the intersection of Caledonia Road and Manchester Road - to a designated parking area close to the market at the centre of town.

Taxi operators have consistently argued that the designated area is already much too small and congested.

Last Wednesday's protest apparently ended after amicable discussions between members of the Mandeville police and the taxi drivers.

Most of the protesting taxi-men ply routes between Mandeville and neighbouring communities including Lincoln, Spur Tree, Greenvale and Mike Town.

Mitchell told Jamaica Observer Central that a major headache for the authorities is that there is no publicly owned land close to the town centre which could be used for parking.

“The spaces we are looking at are privately owned but we are negotiating and I am hopeful”, he said.

Mitchell then informed that a meeting had been tentatively set for later today between all stakeholders including representatives of transport operators, police, the National Works Agency and the Manchester Municipal Corporation to discuss the situation.

---Garfield Myers

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