Several mini bus drivers who traverse the down-town Georgetown to Sophia route, pulled their buses off of the road on Thursday to protest the deplorable conditions of a number of the main roads in the Sophia area.
The drivers complained that they have expressed concerns over the badly damaged roads for years and it appeared as though all of their complaints and concerns had escaped the authorities.
Driver Lennox Willings who has been plying the route for the last four years said he decided to join the protest today because like the other drivers, he had also become tired of the situation and the issue not gaining any attention.
He said he is not sure how long the protest will continue since drivers were hoping to get a response from the Works Ministry before the end of Thursday. He said “if no response was coming from them, then it is more likely that we will continue this because we are fed up and we are tired of these really bad roads.”
The man said passengers have been complaining about the roads also and he has found himself buying new parts for his mini bus almost every month because of the damage the vehicle would have sustained from driving through the big potholes on the roads. He said it is understandable that all of the roads in the area may not be repaired at once, but he would like to see the main roads in B and C field Sophia as well as Last Field being repaired urgently because those are the main roads that buses and other vehicles would have to traverse.
Another operator Orin Wilson told News Source that he would like the Government to look into the problem and their complaints “as urgent as possible” because passengers have been complaining. Mini Bus owner Kevin Roberts said he has found himself paying the monthly instalments for his mini bus and spending as much money on parts for the vehicle.
Roberts said the drivers were taking a stand because the roads were not getting any better. “Right now we got to take a stand with these roads, because you driver over here is hole, you turn over there is another hole, all over is hole and we are damaging our vehicles”, Roberts said.
Residents in the area said they are supportive of the drivers although the strike would be affecting them. Some residents said because of the condition of the roads in the community, some taxi companies would refuse to allow their cars to be driven in the area and private taxi drivers who traverse the route would charge extra money because of the condition of the roads.
In the 2013 budget, millions of dollars have been doled out to the Public Service Ministry for road works in a number of communities across the country.
FILED: 6th June 2013