Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Constant Spring buses, cabs cause mayhem

Published:Saturday | September 19, 2015 | 12:00 AM
The Dunrobin-Constant Spring Road intersection, where busmen and cabbies run riot with indiscipline.
Senior Superintendent of Police Calvin Allen, head of the police Traffic Division.
Omar Davies, minister of transport.
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R.J.

Long-suffering Stony Hill Resident

As the new school term starts, we, the residents of Constant Spring and its environs, are again subject to the indiscipline and almost total absence of regulation of the buses and taxis operating in the area.

The route from Stony Hill through Manor Park and onwards down Constant Spring Road is an 'adventure' each weekday morning and evening. The Coaster buses run wild, boring in and out of traffic. Their conductors alight, run out into the lines of traffic and imperiously force other motorists to stop, thereby allowing their driver to insert his bus into the space created. If any motorists dare protest, they are cursed roundly and threatened with the most disgraceful language, often while having their children in the car.

In Stony Hill Square and Manor Park, mayhem ensues because of these bus tyrants. Huge traffic congestion is caused because of double parking and stopping in the middle of the road. They go as far as parking in a diagonal position, thus effectively blocking the lane. This is to ensure that none of their competitors can pass and pick up passengers that they themselves wish to claim.

In Manor Park, they do not confine themselves to the designated bus stop zones. Rather, they continue down to the plaza entrances, stopping or driving along at 1 or 2mph. On the side of Manor Park going up, near to the Grosvenor Terrance entrance, there is a clearly designated bus park on the right, with prominent NO STOPPING signs posted on the left. Alas, to no avail! Every evening they stop on the left to pick up passengers while the bus park on the right is either empty or populated by illegal vendors.

There are a number of other offences that accompany this type of behaviour: Coming down in the left lane designated to turn on to Olivier Road, then boring across to the right at the last second to go straight down Constant Spring Road; coming up in the right lane designated to turn on to Olivier Road, then boring over to go up straight past Constant Spring Market.

General indiscipline is on display at each intersection along Constant Spring Road, including the Oaklands stop light, Shortwood Road, Dunrobin Avenue, West Kings House Road, and onward to Half-Way Tree.

public transport mafias

The intersection of Red Hills Road and Eastwood Park Road is another 'adventure' any time between 5 and 6:30 on any weekday evening. I haven't even touched on the other notorious public transport mafias in the Corporate Area like the Red Hills Road taxis and the Spanish Town Road Hiaces. "Where are the authorities in all of this?" tax-paying motorists should ask. Well, I think I have at least part of the answer.

First, I've been a resident of Stony Hill for about 30 years now. I have a well-founded suspicion that a significant portion of these taxis and buses are owned either by police personnel or activists with strong political

affiliations. As such, impunity is the name of the game.

Additionally, the police presence in these hot spots is notable by its absence. One might conclude that with crime being as it is, their resources are stretched and traffic regulation is not a priority. Funnily enough, at the beginning and end of each month, they miraculously appear, diligently checking for the validity of documents. Apparently, the lure of revenue both for the State and their own pockets motivates them sufficiently to make an appearance during these periods.

In conclusion, though there are efforts at enforcement at various locations from time to time, these are token at best and inconsistent. I'm now thoroughly disgusted at the state of affairs and demand urgent action by those responsible.