CABINET has mandated the Department of Infrastructure to undertake an integrated traffic study encompassing the greater Castries district and the Choc-Gros Islet Highway corridor.
The study will lead to the adoption of a holistic approach to address current traffic issues, according to a release from the Government Information Service.
Infrastructure Minister Stephenson King was quoted as describing the traffic study as “a very significant undertaking”.
He added: “The issue of the road network in Saint Lucia has been one which, for decades, has attracted the attention of not just politicians, but also citizens in Saint Lucia and even more so the motorists—those persons who use the roads on a day to day basis to conduct their business. In many cases those persons are the ones who contribute to the overall development of our country and who are keen at ensuring that their activities are done in a very efficient manner.”
The Infrastructure Minister said while the construction of a four lane highway was “inevitable”, some short term measures were necessary.
“There are issues, concerns, problems and remedies that we can effect which can help, for the time being, to alleviate some of the congestion we experience and some of the problems that occur on the road network in order to improve comfort and to create the traction necessary for motorists and pedestrians along the highway,” he explained.
Parliamentary Representative for Gros Islet, Lenard Spider Montoute, welcomed the short- term measures to address the road-related issues in his constituency.
Montoute said: “As a Parliamentary representative, one of the biggest concerns is road maintenance in my constituency. The road network is very extensive given the fact that we have a number of housing developments in the area. We now have a situation in Castries and Gros Islet where there was a [traffic] problem between seven and nine in the morning, and four to five in the evening, but now it seems to be all day long. So there is certainly an urgent need to address it.”
Recently, stakeholders comprising local engineers, public and private sector representatives and civil society convened for one-day to discuss the Castries–Gros Islet Highway Improvement Soft Solution Project.