The cash-strapped Transport Board is a major casualty of Barbados’ bad roads.
Minister of Housing, Lands and Rural Development Denis Kellman said one of the major reasons authorities needed to ensure road improvements, especially in rural Barbados, were done, was to ease the Transport Board’s bus repair costs.
He observed that the wear and tear on buses was made worse when the highways and byways they traversed daily were themselves in a state of disrepair.
The St. Lucy MP said a major example of this was in his constituency, something that had happened overtime.
“The building of roads in the north of Barbados cannot be just a road. When a road is built in rural Barbados it is not just a road to houses, it is a road for houses and a road for businesses and we have to understand … that we have to be very selective and very developmental in the way we approach road construction,” he said.
“When we do a road it must be a road for more houses, a road for more businesses… we also have to take into account that the Minister (of Transport and Works) is also the minister for the Transport Board and he has to ensure …that if he wants to reduce the cost at the Transport Board he first has to fix the roads that the buses have to travel on.
“Because of the neglect of St. Lucy under the last Barbados Labour Party government the Transport Boards buses were destroyed because of the roads.
“What they did not realise was that in not doing the roads in St. Lucy …they were just extracting large sums out of their pockets because of the large sums they had to spend on the Transport Board,” Kellman added.
He said the current administration was “bringing roads right across Barbados because we cannot only think about our constituents we have also to think about the Transport Board and how we will save costs in the way we implement these road polices so as not to damage the buses of the Transport Board”.
The long standing MP also said having been neglected for 14 years by the former BLP administration, areas like St. Lucy would now benefit under the current government.
“We have waited a long time in opposition, we were waiting over 14 years and we didn’t get the delivery, in four years of crisis we waited and the time has now come… for some delivery to come,” he said.
“We understand that what we are doing that we are not just building roads but we are creating infrastructure for further development in Barbados and that we are about to ensure that everything we do is development in nature and not political in nature only and that is the difference.” (SC)