JIS News

A number of changes will be implemented in Morant Bay, St. Thomas to ease the congestion caused by vending and to regulate the flow of vehicles in the town during the Christmas season.
Effective Monday, December 15, easterly bound transport operators will be required to use the parking facility at Hope Road, near the Morant Bay Fire Station, while operators plying between Kingston and Morant Bay will use the bus park on Church Street. In addition, no vending will be allowed on the sidewalks.
Deputy Mayor of Morant Bay, Michael Hue, announcing the changes at the monthly meeting of the St. Thomas Parish Council held recently, said that the measures came out of a meeting with the St. Thomas Police.
He informed that the municipal wardens will be distributing flyers to taxi operators and vendors in the town, to inform them of the new regulations. He said that vendors will not be allowed to sell on the pavements, since this practice often force pedestrians to walk on the streets.
“What is happening is that persons who stand on the road side to sell are causing pedestrians to walk in the road and there have been complaints that persons have been hit by motor vehicles,” he stated.
Mayor of Morant Bay, Hanif Brown, in an interview with JIS News, expressed concern about the traffic congestion in the town. He noted that the constant pile-up of traffic at Church Corner, which leads into Morant Bay, often poses “serious problems” for motorists.
Mayor Brown said the Council recognises the need to expand the town centre and will be asking the Ministry of Transport and Works to “seriously look at having a by-pass road”.
“Having recognized the need for the expansion, we must take the necessary steps to ensure that the requisite planning takes place,” he stated.
In the meantime, the Mayor said that the Council will be receiving full support from the police in getting motorists to comply with the changes that will be applied for the festive season. He informed that come next year, more traffic management measures will be put in place, including instituting a parking fee for some areas in the town.