After being given just over a week to pack up and leave the River Bus Terminal, vendors who operate from there say there is no way they can comply in the limited time that they were given by the Ministry of Transport and Works.
The food, clothes and grooming businesses located to the south of the terminal were given official notices last Thursday that they would have to move their businesses in ten days.
Communications Officer for the Barbados Association of Retailers Vendors and Entrepreneurs (BARVEN) Robert Maloney told Barbados TODAY they did not have a problem with moving.
However, he said the timeframe was much too tight.
“The ten days would have been from last Thursday when the notices were given.
“Some vendors have already said they would just need a little more time to get things sorted out. The vendors believe that the time is very short, especially seeing it’s so close to Independence and Christmas celebrations. It’s very untimely that they spring this on them,” Maloney said.
The spokesman explained that his organization had met with the ministry on October 28 to discuss the authorities’ concerns about vendors who were in the direct path of construction.
It was there that they agreed those vendors would go, although it was not clear to where they would move.
Maloney said the traders were not resisting the move since they had been encouraged by his organization to cooperate with the relevant authorities.
“We were then told that there were about eight to ten structures that were in the direct path and they would need to be relocated . . .
“BARVEN found [the ten days] to be a little short seeing the type of magnitude it would take to move an entire structure. As you can see some of the structures are pretty big. So they would definitely need a bit more time,” Maloney told Barbados TODAY.
During a “walk around” of the area this afternoon with Director of the Barbados Transport Authority Alex Linton, a “couple of spots” were identified as possible temporary locations, he said.
Meantime, one of the vendors, Margareta Smith, who has been selling food from the terminal for 21 years, said she was worried when she received the letter. However, she said she was now a bit more comfortable after seeing the spot to which she would be moving. Still, Smith made it clear it was all but impossible to move by Sunday.
“I can’t get this done by Sunday, so I would hope they give us a bit more time. But right now I really don’t know what will happen if they don’t change their minds,” she said.
Another food vendor who asked not to be identified, said he had a difficult time trying to understand the rationale behind a ten-day notice.
“I don’t understand. What we supposed to do now? [They] just told us we have ten days to move but as far as we know we don’t have anywhere to go. I don’t have a clue what to do. Everyone knows ten days is not a long time to prepare to do anything.”
However, Alaine Warren, who has been operating a confectionary stall for the last eight years, was not perturbed.
Warren told Barbados TODAY she was willing to cooperate and would do all she could to move.
“[You] just have to do what you have to do. They showed us where they will put us so I will work with that,” she said.
Efforts to reach transport officials proved futile up to the time of publication.