Friday 16 November, 2018

Motorists left miserable as Corporate Area road works cause gridlock

Bad timing of workmen carrying out road patching work has been blamed for a hours-long gridlock in sections of the Corporate Area on Monday evening. 

Some commuters travelling to Half-Way Tree via Hagley Park Road told Loop News that they had to disembark the public transportation vehicles they were travelling in and instead walk to their destinations as the traffic was at a virtual standstill for hours.

“I left Portmore about 3:30 (Monday) to get to class at Distinction College (on Hagley Park Road) but had to get off the vehicle several bus stops before my destination and walk,” one woman said as she wondered aloud what had caused the traffic pile-up.

She said it normally takes her about 35 minutes to get to class but she was late by nearly an hour yesterday.

One man said he had to make several u-turns and take a number of shortcuts to get to his upper St Andrew home, travelling from downtown Kingston, in two and a half hours.

"It was ridiculous!" he said.

The police have since confirmed that workmen carrying out patching work in Half-Way Tree and the Maxfield Avenue areas during peak hour traffic up to 5:30 in the evening, contributed significantly to the traffic snarl. They are appealing to the responsible entities to schedule road work in such a way as to cause minimum disruption to the flow of traffic.

For its part, the National Works Agency has since apologised for the inconvenience caused.

Monday’s traffic pile-up brought back memories of the gridlock on the Palisadoes Road that cut off access to the Norman Manley International Airport for nearly six hours on New Year’s Day. The incident, which  embarrassed the country and caused hundreds to miss their flights, was the result of a party at the Gunboat Beach along the Palisadoes strip.

It led to serious tension between National Security Minister Robert Montague and the now retired Commissioner of Police, George Quallo, who refused to hold any of his officers to account over the incident.