Government has been inefficient in its management of several road projects, Independent Senator Sir Henry Fraser said yesterday.
Sir Henry made this observation as he questioned why parliamentary permission was now being sought to acquire land earmarked for the Warrens Traffic, Safety and Improvement Project.
“Why exactly is it that this project has been going for almost a decade and we are only now dealing with these land acquisitions?” Sir Henry asked as debate got underway in the Upper House of Parliament this morning.
Saying there were much longer highways such as the ABC Highway, which were done in a somewhat expeditious manner, Sir Henry said: “Here is a road that has been under construction for almost a decade and we are only now, after many, many years of inconvenience and strange happenings along that highway, dealing with acquisitions.
“So it does seem, Madam President . . . that there are some inefficiencies here. There are some problems with our management of projects that seem to take extraordinarily long and hugely inconvenience people,” he lamented.
Pointing to roads at Todd’s, St John, which he described as “horrendous”, and Cherry Grove in the same parish, the legislator charged that those “seemed to take years and years to progress and seemed to move at one yard or two every month.
“What is the problem with our management that road construction cannot be started with a plan and completed within a matter of months?” he questioned. “Usually things are all expedited in the year before election.”
Sir Henry also questioned the difficulty in keeping road markings clear especially at roundabouts, charging that Barbados had a serious problem when it came to road safety.
“One of the issues of roundabouts is that they don’t get marked the same way. Sometimes you go left and straight, sometimes you go right and straight and quite often, you don’t know whether to go left and straight or right and straight because the markings are completely faded and so we have very, very serious problems of safety, especially on our roundabouts but often at other intersections . . .,” he observed. “It is a serious, serious matter.”
Senator Fraser also took issue with the Darcy Scott roundabout in Warrens which, he said, motorists were still unsure of how to use as well as the Wildey Triangle, “one of the most dangerous places in Barbados.
“One day, there will be a Joes River-type accident on that hill . . . that is a very, very serious situation and I wish to make it clear that there is no reason why it should be quite as bad as that . . . That road needs to be addressed,” he said.