Frustrated road users here have found an open platform to vent about the state of the country’s roads.
The Facebook page Potholes Of Barbados, created “to highlight the horrendous craters that frequently cost people hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars in vehicle repairs”, is gaining in popularity as dissatisfied motorists and pedestrians turn to the social media platform to express their discontent.
Page creator Chris Brancker told Barbados TODAY he never expected the page to garner this much attention.
“I said I will get some people to follow it and I just took like five pictures of potholes and then it just went from there. People started posting pictures and I would just re-post them continuously,” he said.
Brancker, a wedding photographer and graphic designer, said initially the idea was “focused around the photography or the object of the person and in this case the potholes”.
The popular hashtag #potholesinparadise has also sprung from the page, which features photographs and videos of potholes of all sizes from around the island, posted by road users.
Many of the posts involve a bit of humour – one shows miniature figures on a raft in a large pool of water with the notice, “New, exciting attraction in Barbados. Pothole Rafting”, while another depicts a toilet, the seat placed over the pothole, along with a toilet tank and plunger and a caption, “so relevant right now”.
Brancker said he had been receiving calls from people who were old enough to have seen the development of the road network, many of whom had been saying they had never seen it this bad.
“It’s not fair to anyone who has to drive . . . [into] these potholes,” he told Barbados TODAY.
The Facebook page has nearly 3,000 likes and it continues to grow as the number of potholes increase, Brancker said.
The page also serves another useful purpose – – alerting drivers to the areas with the worst potholes and which roads to avoid, while it has forced the authorities to act in some cases, Brancker said.
For instance, we made a huge joke about the one at Christ Church in Hastings about the sewage and within two days it was fixed. So as much of a joke as it is, if that what we got to do to get things done, then why not?”
The page creator said he wanted to develop it beyond a forum that raises awareness of the poor state of the roads, into a tool that would help road uses plan their routes.
Among the plans, he said, was the development of an app to complement the page.
“If we can incorporate an app within navigation systems, you can imagine seeing potholes before you get to them and knowing this is a terrible road [and] to take a different road because it [the initial route] has lots of potholes,” he stated.