By Kadeem Joseph
A new bus terminal and vending area are expected to form part of new plans for the car park on Independence Drive.
Minister of Information, Melford Nicholas said that the National Asset Management Company (NAMCO), which has been charged with completing the project, is presently evaluating how best to make all aspects of the car park functional during the second phase of development.
“I think the natural thing to do and the thought process in NAMCO is that we need to develop and construct a new bus terminal and the southern side of the facility’s modern bus terminal, in which there will be adequate facilities for vendors,” he said.
Nicholas believes that parking meters proposed for “the upper side of St John’s” in conjunction with the Transport Board, which is expected “before the end of summer,” will complement the operation of the modern facility.
He said the Minister with responsibility for the Development Control Authority (DCA), Maria Bird Browne proposed the vending facility that is expected to accommodate the removal of vendors on Old Parham Road.
Nicholas said the new plans would allow for the government to develop the area so that “it is not a ramshackle at the end of the day”.
Minister Browne disclosed some of the details for the proposed vending area.
“It’s going to be a vendors park with approximately 15 booths, bathroom facilities, and a bandstand. Only a small maintenance fee will be necessary, especially for the upkeep of the restrooms and surrounding area,” she explained.
The minister noted that the drawings for the park are being finalised and construction is expected to start by April, adding that the facility would most likely be managed by the St John’s Development Corporation. But vendors along Old Parham Road have registered their disapproval with the proposed plan stating that their current sidewalk spots are preferable because they are easily accessible to passersby.