POLICE Commissioner Severin Moncherry has taken full responsibility for the traffic congestion that erupted on Thursday October 3, 2019 from as early as eight in the morning.
The cause of the congestion was the closure of the roundabout at the Castries Waterfront, a busy motorway that allows motorists to enter and leave the City of Castries.
The usually 15 – 30 minute journey into town from any where north of the island turned into two or more hours for some motorists on Thursday. The same could be said for motorists entering the City of Castries coming from the south. Even motorists from the outskirts of Castries found themselves caught up in the traffic congestion most of whom could not fathom the reason for the congestion, particularly when it was officially announced earlier in the week that the roundabout would have been closed from 10 a.m. that morning.
People turned to social media to vent their anger and frustration suggesting to the powers that be that Sunday, or the upcoming holiday on Monday would have been more ideal for the activity that generated the roundabout’s closure.
The activity in question was the unveiling of a national monument – a sculpture by renowned Saint Lucian artist Jallim Eudovic. That activity was scheduled for 3:00 p.m. that same day and was expected to last for one hour. Several persons were of the view that vehicular traffic would be substantially less on Sunday or Monday than the scheduled Thursday.
Commissioner Monchery described the traffic congestion Thursday morning as “serious” noting that it “caused a great deal of inconvenience not only to the motoring public but commuters, business persons, workers and students of the country.”
“I as Commissioner of Police take full responsibility for this. On behalf of the police I apologize to the members of the public for the inconvenience caused,” Monchery stated.
The Police Chief noted that preliminary investigations disclosed that a decision was made by police to close the road at an earlier time (8:00 a.m.) contrary to a public announcement made by the Independence Committee that the road would have been closed at 10 a.m.
“This resulted in an unacceptable traffic flow. I can assure members of the public that stringent measures have been taken to avoid a recurrence of such an incident,” Monchery said, thanking the public for their continued support of the police.
The police chief said that his officers had everything in place to avoid the massive traffic congestion if the road was closed at the prescribed time which was 10 a.m. in the morning instead of it being closed two hours earlier.
So, who closed the road at 8 a.m. rather than the stipulated time of 10 a.m. in the morning? Monchery promised to deal with the culprit noting that action will be taken against the person or persons involved in the time change.