Tell us the transport plans for Bernard Lodge

Dear Editor, The Jamaica Association of Transport Owners and Operators (JATOO) would like to point out that the transportation needs of the estimated 100,000 new residents of the proposed Bernard Lodge housing development are being totally ignored. This ignorance will result in transportation chaos in this new township.

The supply of transportation seats will be fulfilled by anyone and everyone. This will be the creation of the chaos and indiscipline which characterises much of the distress to the citizens in our major towns. Transport operators will then be demonised for disobeying the rules.

But there are no rules, as none were put in place by the regulators and planners. We believe that the area to be developed should be identified and made public. This was done for the Portmore development in the 1960s.

This publicity will alert the residents in the area and adjoining communities of planned changes to their environment. Keeping the development area a secret is tantamount to encouraging those with the knowledge of the plans to sell that information to their friends and family. This is the essence of corruption.

This we see as a launching pad for the corrupt granting of transportation licences and other benefits to Jamaicans. We are questioning the procedure to grant permits for supplying transportation seats. Recently, People's National Party Chairman Fitz Jackson gave a description of the area.

Based on his description it seems as if the old train line runs through the entire development. As transportation needs are of concern, and because there is no transportation plan, we ask, will the train service be revived for this area? The present train line runs from Kingston, through Gregory Park (Portmore), the new development (Grange Lane/Lakes Pen), Spanish Town, and on to Old Harbour and the Bog Walk/Linstead area.

This is less than one hour by train, bus, or car. Is this an extension of the dormitory community for Kingston? Where is the transportation plan for this?

This has many transportation investment implications. If there is a plan or consideration to reviving the train service we the private transport investors should be told so that we can avoid preparing for an investment that may not be a reality. But, in the event the train service will not be revived, and we are needed, then it must be told to us now so we can organise the appropriate investment and the necessary infrastructure and regulations.

This must be done now at the planning stage so that transport chaos will be averted before development. Louis Barton Everton Styles

Andrew Nembhard Lunville Watt Cleve Bell

Directors JATOO [email protected]

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References

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