Wed | Oct 18, 2017

Classes suspended at five Portland schools following cabbies protest

Published:Wednesday | September 7, 2016 | 1:17 PM
In this 2015 file photo firemen clear debris from the street in St Elizabeth after a protest.

At least five schools in Portland have again been forced to suspend classes after taxi operators mounted roadblocks for a third day.

Since Monday, taxi and mini bus operators have withdrawn their services and blocked the main thoroughfare demanding better roads.

This morning road blocks were remounted in sections of Fairy Hill, Boston, Pantons Hope, Rural Hill, Manchioneal and Long Road extending to Hectors River.

This forced the suspension of classes at Happy Grove High, Manchioneal All Age, Fair Prospect High, and Rural Hill Primary School.

Member of Parliament, Dr Linvale Bloomfield, says the blockades were mounted despite the assurance from the National Works Agency that repairs will be done.

Bloomfield met with a group of protestors this morning in an attempt to diffuse the situation.

He explained that work would begin near Long Bay and would continue easterly into Manchioneal depending on the amount of material available.

However, the angry protestors argued that repairs could have been carried out during the summer holidays.

They say they will continue to demonstrate until their demands are met.

Meanwhile, Stephen Shaw, the Communications Manager at the National Works Agency (NWA), says patching work is to begin in sections of Portland tomorrow depending on weather conditions.

Speaking with our news centre this morning Shaw said the work will be done as part of the NWA’s island-wide initiative to improve roads in various areas.

He says the scope of work will include asphalt concrete patching across sections of the roadway.

Meanwhile, Shaw says weather conditions could affect the start date of the project.