The people of Dark Hole, St Joseph say they are in a rather dark place and are virtually stuck in their community.
The collapse last Saturday of the main road leading towards St Sylvan’s Village has left residents worried that getting in and out of the community could be problematic, particularly since the state-owned Transport Board bus assigned to them no longer travel the full route.
“The bus use to pass straight down here and go to Coggins and come around, [but] now there is no bus. We don’t have no way to pass. Even the postwoman, she had to deliver a letter and she could not get to the home,” Pauline Hoyte, a longtime resident, said.
“I feel it is a hazard. It has really affected us because you basically have nowhere to go, no bus to catch and at night you have to walk very far to get home or a bus stop.
“ The children have to walk very far to get to school. The bus does run when they feel like, the Chalky Mount bus use to come down this road but now you have to walk far to get it.”
Another resident, Rawle Knight, told Barbados TODAY the trek to catch the bus felt like an unwanted trip down memory lane.
“The situation makes me feel real back in time when we use to walk up the hill 20 years ago. I am hoping that something is done, but I really don’t know what is going on. We have to wait until the authorities do something,” Knight said.
“This road collapse has affected me a lot because that is the main road in the community. There is no other road to connect us to St Andrew. The bus can’t really come down in here and turn, so the residents now have to walk up the hill to take a bus and it is not much surety of how the bus will come unless you walk about a mile.”
The damaged road has also impacted Nature Fun Ranch, whose owner, Corey Layne, said road diversions had cost him valuable business.
However, Layne said he was hopeful of a rapid resolution.
“I know of cases where people were on their way and they saw the road block offfrom the entrance side. On Saturday we had a family who came up to do a tour of the range but signs diverted them, so we had to call them.
“We had quite a few walks on Monday to do horseback riding, so the question is how many families would have been coming in that direction and were diverted? That is the business I would lose due to the closure. But to me it is just to get it out there that we are still open. I am really hoping that soil conversation could get the problem fix before it happens again,” he stressed.
After the road gave way on Saturday, Member of Parliament for the constituency Dale Marshall accused the ruling Democratic Labour Party of negligence.
“The Government has totally abandoned the Scotland District. They have not proclaimed the Scotland District Authority Bill and therefore we continue to be living in a state of peril,” Marshall told Barbados TODAY at the scene of the cave in.
“The problem we are facing is the failure to think ahead and deal with these problems as they arise and in a timely fashion, [which] only kicks the can further down the road and increases cost to a currently suffering Barbados economy,” Marshall added, stressing that the problem had been ongoing for several years and that huge section had collapsed during the passage of Tropical Storm Tomas in 2011.