Vehicles forced to wait over half-hour after toll clerk closes harbour bridge

Several vehicles were forced to wait for more than 30 minutes at the Demerara Harbour Bridge (DHB) early yesterday morning after drivers found the gates inexplicably closed and the bridge company says it will investigate why there was such an inconvenience.

Speaking to Stabroek News yesterday, a driver, who did not want to be named, said he was transporting a doctor and several nurses to Parika to catch the first vessel leaving for Essequibo, but when he arrived at the DHB around 3.15 am he was greeted by closed gates.

“All the gates were locked. So I enquired with the security about what was going on and they said that only one person was working since from six yesterday and she was tired so she had to close off the gate and take a couple minutes of rest. I enquired about the supervisor and the guard related that she wasn’t aware where the person is and I would have to wait,” the man explained.

He pointed out that while he, along with several other drivers, waited, other vehicles were seen passing through the area where heavy vehicles are weighed.

“… A car drove through where they weigh the trucks and went straight ahead without paying. A motorbike followed him, [as well as] other vehicles but I chose not to because we wanted to do the right thing,” he said. He waited some 35 minutes before the toll booth attendant returned and the gates opened.

The driver explained that because the gate was closed, he had to drive in a hurry in order to get his passengers to the ferry and expressed disappointment at what had happened.

When contacted, acting General Manager of the DHB Company Christopher Grannum said it was an isolated incident which had never happened before, but an investigation would be launched into the matter. He explained that while it was normal for one clerk to work the night shift and close the gate when there was no traffic, it should be never closed for such a lengthy period.

“We just want to apologize for any inconvenience that might have been caused and to assure that the matter would be investigated,” he said, while stating that such an issue would not reoccur.

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