Traffic woes for commuters, drivers along East Bank Demerara
Scores of passengers travelling along East Bank Demerara yesterday morning were stuck in traffic for lengthy periods due to works being carried out in specific areas to facilitate the expansion of the road.
The construction work being conducted at Diamond village, EBD, close to the junction between the Demerara Distillers Limited (DDL) and the burial ground nearby, caused a number of workers en route to Georgetown to be late for their jobs.
Many minibus drivers refused to travel past Diamond to villages such as Grove, Craig and Friendship for passengers since they would have to endure the long lines and be stuck in the heat and sun with bus loads of angry passengers.
Several people complained that the operators who were in charge of monitoring the vehicles on each lane were not “being fair” and sometimes they allowed more vehicles in the other lane to pass the area.
“It ain’t right that they allowing 20 or 30 cars and buses them to come up from Georgetown side to go up Timehri side and got us who going to town to work and do business in long, long line and got we perspiring and in heated minibuses waiting all the time.
“Then when they get we line going they only letting 10 or sometimes 15 car and so pass them before they stop we again and let the next lane move,” argued one woman.
A father of two was taking his children to school and had left earlier than he usually would in order to cater for delays. However; the time he took to get from Craig to Georgetown and take his children to their schools was more than he expected.
“I left home like an hour before I does normally go because I hear about the Harbour bridge traffic and I know about Herstelling traffic lines and jams with the construction. But when I see long line in Grove until DDL side is then I realise that they doing work there too and I spent about 45 minutes in the line.
“When we come out of that line, we end up in the traffic jam for the Herstelling/ Farm line and I reach late with my children to their schools, “he complained.
For passengers coming from Georgetown heading into the direction of Timehri, they experienced the same ordeal since the traffic line was long from Diamond to Covent Garden, EBD.
“Unfortunately we had line from Providence side for the Herstelling construction part and were waiting for the line to move. But we left surprised when we come out of that line and a few streets away in Covent Garden there was another line for the traffic jam leading up to Diamond. I know a number of people going to airport will be at disadvantage because they can miss check in times and even flights,” an older woman stated.
Meanwhile some students told Kaieteur News that they understand that such works are necessary for improvement and modernization but they are hoping that the contractors complete their jobs speedily.
“We have to get up way earlier now and have to leave home before normal hours that we are accustomed to. One thing before this is that not so many buses does come to Craig and Grove line before the New Scheme open and now construction work start they hardly coming so we have to walk up from our villages to Diamond most times.
“Then we reaching late to school and so and some teachers understand but some are piggish and telling we how we not leaving early enough so I just hope this work finish fast,” said a fourth former of Christ Church.
Yet another student expressed similar sentiments as she commented on the situation.
“We on the East Bank always have to suffer from such traffic problems and while it is for the good of the area it is putting pressure on a lot of us. I have to drop my little brother at play school in Grove and then have early morning lessons before I get to school.
“It isn’t easy cause I already late today (yesterday) and if this continues then I may miss my exams this year CXC,” the 16-year-old lamented.
A number of minibus conductors and drivers are also annoyed with the way in which the operators are allowing the traffic lines “to flow.”
Although the lines are causing a number of inconveniences the motorists and passengers are just pleading that equal number of vehicles on both sides be allowed to pass and that things are done in a more systematic manner.
“If they have to have a line or two lines and even if they end up being long then they should ensure that the same number of vehicles on the left side pass and then the same number pass on the right side lane. At least people can’t complain they aren’t being fair,” one driver added.