VIDEO: Scott's Pass taxi operators, residents plead for better roadsTuesday, May 04, 2021
BY KASEY WILLIAMS
SCOTT'S PASS, Clarendon – Hundreds of motorists were yesterday left stranded for up to four hours as irate taxi operators and residents of Scott's Pass blocked a section of the main road leading to Porus at the Clarendon/ Manchester border, protesting against deplorable road conditions.
The protest affected economic activities as scores of delivery trucks, construction units, and vehicles transporting goods to major towns were stuck in traffic as taxi operators used their vehicles to block a section of the roadway at Scotts Pass.
Member of Parliament (MP) for Clarendon South Western Lothan Cousins told the Jamaica Observer that he has been lobbying for the road to be repaired.
“It is unfortunate that it had to get to this point because as far as I [know], the agency [National Works Agency/NWA] is aware of the deplorable state of the road and the continuous deterioration of the network,” he said.
“The network is a critical corridor that connects all of western Jamaica through Clarendon and Manchester into St Catherine and Kingston. A road of that nature would lead to significant downturn in economic activity,” said the Opposition MP.
“I was hoping that the NWA would have done something by now to address the road condition. There are internal issues that I cannot speak about that I gather are holding up the process...The condition would have been exacerbated by the heavy rainfall that we had and the consequent flooding,” he said.
However, NWA Communications Manager Stephen Shaw said the corridor is slated to undergo rehabilitation soon.
“What is happening is that the road is on a programme for some work to be done. The work will start not so long from now because we have procured a contract for the work. There are discussions with a supplier of asphalt,” he said.
When asked for a definitive timeline on repair works, Shaw reiterated that work is expected to begin “soon”, but he couldn't give a specific date.
A taxi operator who identified himself by his alias Buju expressed his frustration about the poor state of the road which is riddled with potholes.
“If you drive past Toll Gate at night you see [up to] 15 cars lined up with four-way flashers; every man a line up [to repair] tyres. Two weeks ago mi boss change two shocks and the two a dem buss already. Saturday gone mi get a load wid whole heap a liquor and passengers [and] when the car go through the pothole it wouldn't come up back,” he said.
“Mi haffi let out di passengers. When mi go through [the pothole, that is when] dem [passengers] come in the car. Dat not nice. Wi need justice pon di road,” he added.
“If wi nuh si nuh progress by next week, the road a block again because wi need it fi fix,” said Buju.
The taxi operators said the usual 45-minute journey from May Pen to Mandeville has been doubled due to the deplorable road condition.
There is also concern about road fatalities resulting from motorists trying to avoid potholes.
“Five men dead because of the potholes at one spot since the start of the year. Nuh man nuh wah drop inna di pothole so dem a swing from it to di next side. A two bike man dead out deh,” said Buju.
Crawford Wright, a resident of Porus, said people have been robbed on the roadway because they have to slow down.
“We only want di boss dem fi know seh di road fi fix up, man. Dem rob three men round dere so di oda day… so dem fi fix up di road!”
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