Member of Parliament for St Thomas Cynthia Forde is up in arms over a developing situation at Vaucluse where a public road has been blocked and there appears to be a move afoot to permanently limit public access to the area.
An aggrieved Forde, who took Barbados TODAY to the area, where a section of the road is currently blocked by marl, forcing vehicular traffic to drive on an elevated piece of land in order to access the other side.
“This has been a public road for many centuries. It should not be blocked. And the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW) did not block the road as far as I have been told. So it has to be some other private citizen, or businessperson, or somebody. I don’t know, nor do I care at this point in time. I will call MTW, and I will write officially to ask them to please have this road opened up.
“But the story here is that this race track was developed. I believe it had gone through the measures with the Town and Country Planning Department. I know at one point, the Town and Planning did not approve it, up until 2008. I am not going to say that it has still not been approved because I don’t have the facts on that one. I have the facts on other things,” she said.
The area MP also lamented that wells in the same area have been capped, causing the area to flood whenever there is heavy rainfall.
Forde added: “However, there were some wells that the older generation, I believe it would have been from the time when sugarcane was king, all in the 18th and 19th century, there were massive wells that took off the water. And now, those wells have been capped. I don’t know who capped them, but whoever capped them was wrong.”
She noted that on numerous occasions the MTW managed to clear away water that was settled on the road. Forde also said that on at least one occasion, a private contractor was hired by another businessman to clear the road to make sure it was passable.
Barbados TODAY also understands from a source, that an application has been made to the authorities to have the same road converted to a private road.
When asked if she was aware of the application for a change to a private status, Forde said she had been told. However, she made it clear that she would not stand by and allow the road that is a major artery to be closed.
She said the only solution the road needed was for the wells in the area to be opened up by whoever closed them, and for the road to be properly paved.
“You would appreciate that Earthworks is down the hill from here. If you come up from the western side, you have the St Thomas Church, the rectory and other
places of interest with heritage attractions and so.
“When you want to get from where you are on the West Coast, to get to Earthworks, and then leave Earthworks, to come to Highland Outdoor Tours, to see the bridge at Dukes that was built from eggshells and egg yolk and so on to Welchman Hall Gully, this is the best road. I will not support this road being closed,” Forde stressed.
Managing director of Eastern Land Development Ltd, Michael Cozier, who owns the land on both sides of the road, told Barbados TODAY that he did not know how the road got blocked.
When asked if he was the person who applied to have the road made private, Cozier said he was unwilling to discuss the company’s business with Barbados TODAY.
“I am not discussing with you all, any of the company’s business. I am not entertaining any questions at all about the company’s business. The company’s business is not the business of your newspaper or the business of Cynthia Forde. I will go no further with this matter,” Cozier told Barbados TODAY.