Some 30 taxi drivers who are registered members of the Independent Market Taxi Association and who operate adjacent to the Castries Vendors’ Arcade have voiced their concern over the closure of lower end of the John Compton Highway every Saturday by the Castries City Council (CCC).
President of the association, Thomas Placide, has said that when his members showed up for work on Saturday, they were greeted by vendors who occupied the very lane that they are authorized to park.
In an upset tone, Placide told the media that everyone had to return home, because there was no parking available. The taxi association head complained that it was an unjust move by the CCC to relocate to their lane, without first informing them nor finding alternative parking spaces for them.
“Two Saturdays ago City Council was occupying the other side of the road but last Saturday when we came to work we realized that there were barriers from the end by Jeremie Street to the other end,” he explained.
Placide said he does not plan to meet with anyone from the CCC, because no one had the decency to meet with his members before implementing this new plan.
The association plans to seek advise from an attorney on the matter. But in the meantime, he said if the need arises, his members will protest this move by blocking the streets.
To begin this, Placide said his members will park their vehicles in the designated parking area from Friday night, and when the vendors show up on Saturday, they will have no place to park.
In a press statement issued on Friday, the CCC said that the lower end of the John Compton Highway adjacent to the Vendor’s Arcade will be closed every Saturday until further notice.
The CCC said the closure of the small section of the road between the Jeremie and Jn. Baptiste Streets Roundabout is to facilitate the popular Jeremie Street Flea Market which has seen an increase in occasional vendors and shoppers.