Wed | Aug 23, 2017

Locked out by the highway

Published:Thursday | June 18, 2015 | 6:00 AM
Baldvin McKenzie
An abandoned roadway near a section of Highway 2000 in Clarendon.
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Clarendon's fast-developing Longville Park Housing Scheme, which houses approximately 15,000 residents and counting, is shut out from accessing Highway 2000.

This was highlighted at a Gleaner Growth Forum held on Wednesday, June 3, at the Versalles Hotel in May Pen, Clarendon.

Businessman William Shagoury saw it as a major oversight and a senseless move on the planners' part.

"Can you imagine a place like Longville Park? Do you know that there is no entrance to come off at Longville Park from May Pen and there is no exit to come back to May Pen from Longville Park?" he said.

With the main goal of the toll-road operators being to collect revenue, he questioned the move that he said blocks out potentially lucrative avenues.

"What is happening to us now is that the residents of Longville would rather go to Old Harbour, or take something and go to Portmore, because it's easier for them to jump on to the highway," Shagoury explained.

Longville Park sits between May Pen and Old Harbour, with many residents having jobs in the parish capital as well as further afield.

The problem is compounded by the fact that there are already existing entrance and exit points in place which have been cut off by the operators.

"The exit toll roads need to be opened for Longville Park coming from Mineral Heights to Longville Park or the other way around. There is nothing to connect them," Shagoury pointed out.

President of the Longville Park Housing Scheme, Baldvin McKenzie, added his voice to the issue in recommending that the toll exit at Old Harbour be reopened.

"With this large population in Longville Park, if the highway is opened for the hundreds of residents to use, it will increase collection by the Toll Authority," he said.

- Cecelia Campbell-Livingston