City Hall’s decision to relocate Route 42 minibuses and ‘short-drop’ car park operators to a potentially crime-ridden area in High Street has left drivers and passengers at the mercy of robbers and petty thieves.
It has been over two weeks since the Mayor and City Council and United Minibus Union agreed to the temporary relocation of the 42 Route minibus operators to High Street between Hadfield and Leopold Street. However, that area may not have been the wisest or safest location —at least not for the business establishments and passengers.
The location has always had a high presence of pickpockets and petty thieves, who are now finding easy prey among hapless commuters and drivers.
When Kaieteur News visited the area yesterday, one bus driver was heard blurting out “this place is blows”, as he made his way to his driver’s seat.
This suggested that he was not making enough ‘trips’ as he had at the original parking area.
Another driver, who wanted to reverse and park alongside the other buses, was approached by a female traffic officer who prevented him from impeding the vehicles behind. He sped off.
Nonetheless, Kaieteur News caught up with him and he was vehement in his condemnation of the Council’s move.
He noted that City Hall and a senior traffic had assured them that police ranks would be placed in the area.
“Yuh cyant park hay. Dis place infested with thieves. Look weh dey bring de park, up de road is Leopold Street,” he complained.
He added that female police ranks would be incapable of warding off any threat from the nearby dwellers should the need arise.
A woman selling beverages and food nearby shared his sentiment.
“Vote fuh change, vote fuh stress,” she lamented.
As the mid-morning heat intensified, it appeared so too did the moods of those around the park area.
“Dem takkin bout oil, oil and improvement and is bare stress” she continued.
Kaieteur News was informed that while there are some police ranks in the area during the day, the ranks depart in the afternoon.
Passengers and drivers are then left to the mercy of the thieves, who would then escape into Leopold Street and other nearby areas.
At the junction of High and Hadfield Streets, it was observed that several container-laden trucks were competing with the minibuses for space, with neither wanted to make room for the other.
One internal security staffer of a general store in the area complained that at peak hours, bus touts often encroach upon the parking spot reserved for the store’s customers.
He explained the recent development in front of the property has negatively affected his business, and is concerned that the re-opening of schools on September 1 will make worse an already bad situation.
The decision to relocate the minibus park was taken after the M&CC took over the regular terminal to facilitate Stabroek Market vendors.
The Council reported that the vendors were in danger after sections of the market collapsed.
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