Bus drivers blamed for parking woes at East Bus Station

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The head of the Antigua & Barbuda Bus Association said his colleagues at the East Bus Station terminal have themselves to blame for the parking woes they encounter each year during the busy Carnival period.
For years, bus drivers utilising the terminal have complained that they are competing with Carnival vendors for space as most of the booths are erected and placed in the areas that are designated for their use.
President of the association, Keithroy Black said he was able to sit with the Antigua & Barbuda Transport Board (ABTB) last year to negotiate a temporary alternative for the drivers but most of them refused to accept the changes that were proposed.
The issue was brought back to the fore last week after the bus drivers lamented fresh concerns about the situation and the lack of information from the Transport Board to deal with the matter.
“We had suggested that the drivers be placed in the area where the school buses operate from, have it well lit so that they can be in a safe operating zone, and just about a week before Carnival they decided they wanted to stay in the same location that they are presently operating from,” Black said.
He said that because of the refusal of the drivers to relocate, the proposed changes were never acknowledged or implemented.
A week ago, bus operators suggested a similar alternative to what the bus association president agitated for in 2016.
Black is optimistic that the authorities at the ABTB may revisit the matter once the bus drivers are willing to comply.
Meanwhile, the bus association president said that significant changes will be made at the terminal immediately after the carnival festivities.
This includes a separate entrance and exit for the bus operators and adequate bathroom facilities.
According to Black, the bus traffic that goes into the East Bus station will now enter from the Factory Road end of the terminal, and exit from the rising star cricket ground area in the vicinity of the National Public Library.
Currently, buses operating at the East Bus Station enter and exit from the same point.
A boom will also be placed to control the flow of traffic in the terminal.
“Only buses which operate in the area will be allowed in the area and persons who operate businesses in the terminal will be able to do drop offs and pick ups. It will be a no parking zone for personal vehicles and I know the Head of the Traffic Department will be working with us also,” Black said.
The bus association president said he is also concerned about a problem of gambling which is currently occurring at both the East and West Bus Station terminals.
Black said that as far as he is aware, gambling is illegal and he is calling on the relevant authorities to do something about the problem

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