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Story Highlights

  • Mayor of Montego Bay, Councilor Homer Davis, says the St. James Municipal Corporation is exploring ways to stem the proliferation of handcarts at the Charles Gordon Market in the parish.
  • He noted that the use of handcarts is part of the reason vendors sell outside of the designated areas, which contributes to congestion and flouting of the social distancing rules.
  • “One of the things creating the problem of vendors selling on the street is the availability of handcarts, and that is something that we will have to take a look at,” he told journalists after a tour of the market on Thursday (April 23).

Mayor of Montego Bay, Councilor Homer Davis, says the St. James Municipal Corporation is exploring ways to stem the proliferation of handcarts at the Charles Gordon Market in the parish.

He noted that the use of handcarts is part of the reason vendors sell outside of the designated areas, which contributes to congestion and flouting of the social distancing rules.

“One of the things creating the problem of vendors selling on the street is the availability of handcarts, and that is something that we will have to take a look at,” he told journalists after a tour of the market on Thursday (April 23).

“We cannot have these handcarts being rented wholesale to everyone, because they load the handcarts inside the market and they just wait for the opportunity to push them into the street and create problems,” he pointed out.

“So I am going to be having a discussion with the police, because we cannot have the vendors out there selling their produce on these handcarts,” he added.

Mayor Davis noted that the vast majority of vendors comply with the rules of the market. However, there are others who are uncooperative, “which causes other vendors, who do not think that they are getting enough sales, to be tempted to also go on the street”.

He said that the Corporation is looking to increase the presence of the police at the facility, particularly on Saturdays, which is the busiest market day.

“We would like to have the police here from 5:00 a.m., so that no one is allowed to sell their produce along the streets outside of the market [such as] Bevin Avenue, Fustic Road, and if we can enforce that and get them into the market, things will be seamless,” he said.

The Mayor is encouraging market patrons to adhere to the social distancing rules and to desist from buying from persons who sell on the outskirts of the facility.

“Come inside of the market where it is more secure [and] we will have adequate parking if [the vendors] are not on the street,” he noted.

Mayor Davis said that the market building has 112 stalls and can accommodate up to 360 sellers. He noted that the facility is sanitised every week.

The tour of the market was to see first-hand, some of the challenges being faced by vendors and patrons, with a view to making improvements.

The touring party included public health officials as well as members of the police force.

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