Sat | Dec 4, 2021

Hanover cops dissatisfied with traffic flow in main towns

Published:Friday | October 22, 2021 | 12:09 AMBryan Miller/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

The daily traffic congestion plaguing several townships in Hanover, including the parish capital Lucea, has drawn the wrath of Superintendent Sharon Beeput, the police commander who wants swift action to be taken to address the ongoing problem.

“There is a situation that is affecting us (the police), and I am sure that if you live in the parish, or if you traverse it, it will affect you too. The problem has to do with the traffic situation in Hopewell and Lucea. It is not all a police problem, everyone should come together to resolve this issue,” said Beeput while addressing the recent monthly meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation (HMC).

According to Beeput, her office has been receiving numerous calls daily about the traffic congestion in both towns.

“I have made contact with the National Works Agency (NWA), and we are calling another meeting to include the Transport Authority of Jamaica to look at what we can do because, if we are to go back to face-to-face teaching in schools, the traffic congestion situation is going to be even worse,” noted Beeput.

Beeput also pointed out that she has personally witnessed traffic back-up in the town of Hopewell, stretching for several kilometres in both directions from the town square, a situation which she said has affected locals and tourists alike. There have been numerous instances of visitors travelling from Negril to the airport in Montego Bay missing their flights because of the congestion.

In her presentation in the State of the Constituency Debate in Parliament, Tamika Davis, Member of Parliament for Hanover Western, proposed the construction of a bypass road for Lucea. She stated that the one way into the town has outlived its usefulness.

Beeput, on the other hand, expressed the view that it has to be a combined effort among the police, the HMC, the NWA, and the Traffic Authority, along with the operators of public passenger vehicles (PPV), to put an end to the current situation.

MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE

On hearing Beeput’s concerns, Lucea Mayor Sheridan Samuels said there ought to be a traffic management committee in place in the parish, chaired by the NWA personnel, and questioned why the committee is not functioning.

He also argued that the lack of meeting by the committee in question is not helping the HMC, or any other stakeholder grouping, to address traffic management in a meaningful way. He called on Devon Brown, councillor for the Hopewell division, to give some thought as to how he would like to see the situation in Hopewell addressed.

Checks by The Gleaner have revealed that while the HMC has an established municipal car park in the town of Hopewell, it is not being used by PPV operators as, according to them, the facility is not appropriate and neither has it been gazetted, hence it is not being used by PPV vehicles operators, who are the significant cause of the traffic congestion.