May 27, 2014
NOBA President proposes alternative ‘quick route’

Van drivers would be able to provide their services more effectively, if they were allowed to use Kingstown Hill as a “quick route” out of town.{{more}}

This was just one of the proposals tabled by President of the National Omnibus Association (NOBA), Anthony “Code Red” Bacchus on Sunday, May 25, when members of the NOBA and other omnibus operators met at the Arnos Vale hard court to discuss matters relating to omnibus operations.

“We are asking for a quick route between the hours of 4 and 6 p.m. We would like to enter “Town Hill and exit through Arnos Vale, just between those hours,” Bacchus asked, in the meeting which was also attended by head of the traffic department, Superintendent Kenneth John, Commissioner of Police Michael Charles and Minister of Transport Julian Francis.

According to Bacchus, minibuses travelled that route in the past, but because there used to be a school in the vicinity, a ‘no entry for omnibuses’ sign was placed there.

“Since I have been in St Vincent, I have recognized that no entry sign. The school is gone. We been having complaints from the public that Mondays, Fridays, Carnival time and any time there is a lot of activities, the travelling public is stranded in town…. Some persons might walk as far as Sion Hill to try to get a bus because of all of the traffic,” he stated.

“We are just asking for permission from the transport board, police commissioner and the Government to allow us to travel up Town Hill. We are just trying to avoid accidents too.”

If their request is granted, Bacchus urged van drivers to be even more cautious on the road.

He added that some omnibuses hardly return to Kingstown after a few trips during the day because of the heavy traffic.

“We want to be able to pick the passengers up and be back in town. Vans that go to Georgetown, when they reach there, they don’t come back because it’s too late. It’s a waste of time when you get caught up in traffic…,” he further stated.

Some of the other proposals discussed at the meeting were the placing of a temporary bus stop around the corner from the Milton Cato Memorial Hospital and permission to discharge elderly citizens at CIBC FirstCaribbean bank without police harassment.(KW)