Police gear up for back-to-school traffic
Bus owners and drivers who ply the downtown Kingston to Constant Spring route in St Andrew are concerned about the impact that the traffic will have on business when the new school term begins today.
They have expressed that traffic has been bad for the past couple of months and it has been having a negative impact on their businesses.
"The traffic terrible. It bad enuh, because road turn inna one lane," a bus driver said.
Another bus driver, known as Berry, who plies the Half-Way Tree to Tavern route, said that they are losing money at every turn. He said that the police are not making life easier for them because their vehicles are being apprehended if they use a different route to get people to where they want.
"You can imagine you inna traffic for two hours? People a go lose dem work. A 30 grand mi pay the other day to get back my bus, because me mi try cut out the traffic and police tek the bus," he said.
However, Senior Superintendent Calvin Allen, commanding officer of the Public Safety and Traffic Enforcement, said that designated routes are outlined for drivers to use and they should stick to those routes.
"Persons have always been trying to do all sort of gymnastics. They just can't wait, and we want for people to exercise patience and not to take people into areas that might cause problems," he said.
Another bus driver, Stagheart, who also plies the Half-Way Tree to Tavern route, said that the police need to come out in their numbers when school starts, to allow the traffic to flow freely. He said that he would like them to also allow the bus drivers to be able to divert to other areas in order to avoid the traffic, where necessary.
"The police haffi go do sup'm, and stay a stop light to allow traffic fi flow easily. Dem need we fi cut out the traffic and allow the people dem fi go a work. If dem lose dem work, we nah go have nobody fi carry go work and that impact pan wi business," he said.
However, Allen said that the safety unit as well as the National Works Agency (NWA) will be working together to ensure smooth traffic flow when school begins.
"We are collaborating with the NWA based on the traffic that has to be diverted, especially from the Portia Simpson Miller Square, which takes a very high volume of traffic from Spanish Town Road. Traffic is coming from Portmore, traffic is coming from Hagley Park Road, so we have to ensure smooth sailing," he said.
He is asking the motoring public to be aware of what is happening and exercise patient as they carry out their duties.
"We will be out in our numbers at critical intersections in the Corporate Area, and we will be assisting the NWA in terms of the areas that traffic will be diverted to, so that we can be at the functional points to urge the traffic along, as well as to provide people with that necessary advice," he said.
He advises the motoring public to adjust their own travel time, so as to ensure that they still get to work and school on time.