Current roads not adequate to accommodate large vehicles says Transport Minister
Minister of Transport and Works, Montgomery Daniel
June 2, 2023
Current roads not adequate to accommodate large vehicles says Transport Minister

Road upgrades are critical if the roads across St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) are to properly accommodate the larger and heavier vehicles being imported into the state.

This was the view expressed by Minister of Transport and Works, Montgomery Daniel, who was the feature speaker at the rally of the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force (RSVGPF), held on Friday, May 26, to wrap up the celebration of Road Safety Awareness Week.

Speaking to persons at the event at Heritage Square, Minister Daniel said due to SVG’s mountainous landscape, road networks have been a source of headache since colonial times.

“We have the main road established all along the coast. And we have some roads in the interior which mainly were developed because of estates that were established in the interior. Many of these roads were not developed for the level of transportation we have present today,” the minister pointed out.

He said back in 2001, the ministry set the requirement for the width of roads at 21 feet (six meters) for primary roads, and 18 feet (5.5 meters) for secondary roads. Now more than two decades later, the Minister said these specifications are no longer adequate for the class of vehicles being used, especially when it comes to heavy-duty vehicles such as containers.

“Vehicles entering St Vincent and the Grenadines, their size, their length and their width continues to be challenging for the use of the roads. Equally so, it poses a challenge to the Traffic Department. In the Ministry we are having some discussions in terms of improving the width of the main roads because when one looks at a 40-foot container moving on the road and is turning corners, one realizes the challenges that exist and the safety to other road users,” the Minister pointed out.

A “humongous” hurdle for the Ministry, he noted, is the refusal of many homeowners to adhere to proximity requirements to the main roads set by the Physical Planning Department.

“A number of properties that have come up to the margins of the road have not lived up to the Physical Planning requisites and so when the roads are developed and housing establishments are developed, they are to be 10 to 15 feet away from the main road. I know that has not been adhered to over the years and I realize that this can pose some problems.”

Minister Daniel also spoke to other changes being considered which could see additional secondary roads being designated for one-way only traffic.

“I had the opportunity recently to drive through one of the developments and really it is difficult for even SUVs to be traversing through some of these roads. Even in one-way traffic, and some of these roads are being used for two-way traffic,” he said.

“I believe the time has come when we have to consider that a lot of these roads be for one-way traffic because two-way traffic on these roads are a nightmare.”