BVI News

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City hunts solution; car washers hunt earnings

Car occupying three parking spaces while being washed in Road Town this week

By Davion Smith, BVI News Online Staff

The Office of the City Manger said it is seeking legal advice on how to address concerns about mobile car washes that have been taking up precious parking spaces in the Road Town area of Tortola.

Car washers have been known to hog both public and private parking spaces in the town and, in some cases, a single vehicle is used to occupy more than one spot while it is being cleaned.

Some motorists and workers who traverse the British Virgin Islands capital daily have described the issue as a nuisance.

While acknowledging the concerns, City Manager Janice Brathwaite-Edwards said an amicable resolution is being sought for all parties affected.

“The complaints are just genuine complaints especially when somebody comes to work and the car wash is in the location, and they can’t find a place to park… But, at the same time, we are well aware of the fact that that is people’s survival. So we are actually moving very cautiously with it,” she told BVI News Online.

Brathwaite-Edwards yesterday stated that the problem is compounded because there are multiple washers who would be impacted if they were to be ‘put out’.

“We don’t want it to be a situation where we put people out of their daily bread. So we are actually getting some legal advice as to how to move that process forward, because it wouldn’t be a one-person thing; it would be a number of persons. We need to make sure that, when we do it, we look at it in its full circumstance before we actually address the situation, because it would be very difficult in these tough economic times to stop people from making a daily bread.”

Asked about the possibility of relocating the car washers to a designated wash area, Brathwaite-Edwards told BVI News Online that such an option would be ideal.

She however noted one major concern. “Coming up with an area for them can be an option. What I don’t have is any available land within the confines of the city; that is my challenge,” the city manager said.

“We want to ensure that, at the end of the day when we make a decision, the decision is beneficial for all the parties involved, including us.”

Brathwaite-Edwards, in the meantime, noted that some persons have been sympathetic about the situation.

“Even though people may be a little put out because they can’t park, they understand that we still have a legal right to ensure that people can still make a living,” she added.

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