The Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) is to regularise the activities of handcart operators in the market district of the Corporate Area.
This move follows several meetings of the KSAC, the police and handcart owners and operators.
Making the disclosure during a KSAC Council meeting at its Church Street chambers in downtown Kingston, on Tuesday, May 14, Deputy Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Andrew Swaby,said the Markets Department “is putting plans in place to register handcart operators who will be required to observe agreed rules and guidelines.”
Councillor Swaby informed that the process will comprise the development of rules and guidelines governing the operations of handcarts, both in the markets and on the streets; public sensitisation of the benefits of this process to public order; and periodic workshops for operators to reduce risk and negative impact.
“This will allow the police to enforce existing laws within the agreed established guidelines,” he said.
Mr. Swaby pointed out that the market district is challenged by the rapid growth of the hundreds of handcarts operating in the area and negatively impacting pedestrian and vehicular traffic, often without regard for the safety of pedestrians, and against many traffic regulations.
He emphasized that the KSAC is determined to address all those areas that provide a challenge for security in the municipality.
“Accordingly, the activities of the handcart industry can no longer be allowed to go unregulated,” he said.
Mr. Swaby noted that while the KSCAC recognises that the growth of the handcart industry has a role to play in the operations of the market district, “this administration remains committed to orderly operations with a regulatory framework.”
“We believe that it is important to provide the legal framework for handcart owners and operators as they transport goods within the market district. Of special concern are handcarts selling goods, otherwise known as ‘market on wheels’,” he said.
The Deputy Mayor said that under no circumstances should this move to regularise the industry be viewed as a method of earning additional income, noting that “the goal is to bring order to the market district and to regulate a critical operational input, which is an integral part of the business district.”
Contact: Alecia Smith-Edwards