No decision yet on Saffon St vendors removal – Williams

The fate of the 50-odd vendors facing removal along Saffon Street remains in limbo as the Mayor and City Council continues to deliberate on the matter.

Deputy Mayor and Chair-man of the Public Health and Market Committees Robert Williams told this newspaper that no decision has been taken as yet; the “suggestion” to have the vendors removed is still being considered.

“The vendors pay revenue,” Williams added. “We can’t just move them like that.” He pointed out too that there was no ready location to place the vendors.

Meanwhile, Road and Traffic Safety Engineer Nigel Erskine is maintaining that the vendors need to be removed for their safety as the Saffon Street is intended to become two-way once again.

On October 5, the Government Information Agency reported that the Ministry of Works had overlaid La Penitence carriageway from Punt Trench Dam to Broad Street, in keeping with plans to turn the stretch into a two-way road to ease traffic congestion during peak hours.

“Currently vehicles can only come into Georgetown through Lombard Street, but what we are trying to facilitate here is an alternative entrance into the city,” Erskine had said. “The entire carriageway into Saffon Street has been overlaid to allow free movement to two lanes of traffic in either direction.”

The road has been one-way from 6 am to 6 pm for several years.
The move was taken because traffic congestion coming from the East Bank has been a longstanding issue with few solutions found.  “The road is going to be converted into a two way… the relocation of vendors is the main reason for the road not functioning properly,” Erskine told this newspaper in an invited comment.

He also added that the initiative was collaboration between the Ministry of Works, the Police and the City Council. Once the council made a decision, Erskine said, the road will function as intended.

Meanwhile, vendors remain adamant that they are not an impediment to traffic. While vendors are expected to be moved, Erskine said that parking provisions will be made for persons who have homes and businesses along Saffon Street.

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