A drive through picturesque St Joseph could easily result in costly vehicle repairs, says Member of Parliament Dale Marshall, who complained that virtually every road in the constituency was close to impassable.
According to the Opposition Barbados Labour Party parliamentarian, months of pleading with the Ministry of Transport and Works have yielded nothing more than incomprehensible excuses.
“Other than St John, we [St Joseph] remain the most neglected parish. The road infrastructure across St Joseph has been allowed to deteriorate by the Ministry of Transport and Works. The residents have called and I have called and other members of my team have called, but all we are constantly hearing is that there is constantly no material, absolutely no material. So the situation is just going from bad to worse and the [recent] rainfall just worsens the entire problem,” Marshall told Barbados TODAY this morning at the Eric Holder Complex in St Joseph, following a presentation of tablets to students by the Aron & Cristina Foundation.
Noting that his constituents would have only just had some relief from two years of chronic water shortages, Marshall said the people of St Joseph were once again approaching similar levels of frustration over the road condition.
“You have roads that you can hardly pass two cars abreast because the amount of bush that is encroached onto the roadway has virtually taken up an entire lane. It isn’t a good thing for one of Barbados’ most picturesque areas to be in this condition. We have to remember that we are a tourist destination, but more importantly, we are a place for all Barbadians to enjoy. I don’t want things to happen because tourists come, but because people have to get on with their daily lives. So while we have resolved the water challenge the road issue is now equally urgent,” the legislator stressed.
It was last week that Minister of Transport and Works Michael Lashley revealed that four companies would embark on a rehabilitation programme to repair Barbados’ road network.
The minister was speaking against the backdrop of complaints by motorists and Barbadians in general about the poor state of the roads across the island, made worse by the recent rains.
Lashley said at the time that money was available through a loan from the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) and the final details of the contracts were being worked out so that “we can stick within the corners of the Financial and Audit Act . . . . Otherwise the work would have been started”.
He said once money was borrowed from international institutions, contracts had to be cleared by the chambers of the Attorney General. He added that the projects should start within a couple of weeks.