Taxi Drivers who are members of the Independent Market Taxi Association have threatened to take protest action over a decision to close the lower end of the John Compton Highway every Saturday until further notice.
The closure of the lower end of the John Compton Highway adjacent to the Vendors’ Arcade was announced last week by the Office of the Mayor.
“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,” a statement from the Mayor’s Office said.
But Thomas Placide, the President of the Independent Market Taxi Association told the Times that members of the organization are not happy with the closure.
“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 where no vehicles can actually park,” Placide said.
He explained that his association was not notified in any way.
Placide accused the Mayor of violating the rights of taxi drivers by acting without consultation.
“When we came to work every body had to go back home simply because somebody feels they are empowered to do people injustice in this country,” he declared.
Placide told the Times that thirty drivers who normally park in their reserved area adjacent to the Vendors’ Arcade were affected.
“The next move – what we are going to do is to block the streets and if City Council cannot follow the right procedure we may have to take the matter to our lawyers to find out what can happen,” he stated.
According to the Taxi Association President, members will leave their vehicles in the designated parking area from Friday night.
“Saturday when they come I wonder what they are going to do because what they are doing to us is injustice,” he asserted.
Placide said he had no intention of consulting the Mayor’s Office in regard to the problem since his association had not been consulted in the first place.
Placide said that his association is a registered organization.
He also observed that the road had been specifically marked by the authorities to indicate the parking area for the taxi drivers.