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No stoplights, reckless driving causes barriers on highway

Concrete barriers photographed at the intersection of the James Walter Francis Highway (dual carriageway) on Tortola.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works Anthony McMaster has sought to explain the reasons behind a temporary roadblock on the James Walter Francis dual carriageway on Tortola.

The intersection which joins Wickham’s Cay ІІ to the road leading to Pasea Estate’s residential community (commonly called Sports Club Road) has been blocked with concrete barriers over the last few weeks.

In an interview with BVI News, McMaster said the blockage is a safety measure.

He said the traffic lights at that intersection have not been functioning since the September 2017 hurricanes so there have been several near-encounters of traffic accidents.

He said motorists often attempt to crossover on either side of the dual carriageway at the intersection.

“We have had quite a bit of near-misses in that area and that is part of the reason why those [barriers] were placed there,” he reasoned.

“And since we have not been able to replace the stoplight at this junction and we continue to see more and more near-misses, we thought it best to just stop the traffic to ensure that everyone stays protected for now,” McMaster explained.

He added: “It is to assist with traffic control because if you are travelling eastward when you get to the intersection between Tortola Sports Club and The Moorings, it is almost like a blind corner,” he said.

“And because it depends on the speed you are going, by the time you get around the corner you are basically at the junction, where you have vehicles coming out from The Moorings or even out of Tortola Sports Club.”

Waterfront Drive traffic lights also damaged

Similarly, the traffic lights on Waterfront Drive were also affected by the hurricanes.

However, McMaster said traffic is not as dangerous at that intersection compared the junction on the highway.

“The motoring public has been able to self-police and we don’t see the type of challenge that we have at that intersection as we have seen at Wickham’s Cay ІІ,” he explained.

McMaster said the Ministry is now waiting for funds to repair and replace traffic lights.

He did not know the overall cost to replace the traffic lights.

In the meantime, the Permanent Secretary is urging road users to continue to exercise caution and drive within the specified speed limits to avoid any accidents.

 

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20 Comments

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  1. HMPH says:

    If a similar road block was installed at the junction in town it would inconvenience Government staff coming in from the West in the mornings, or going home to the East in the evenings so there can be no question of a road block there.
    If a road block stopping right turns into and out of the ferry terminal was installed – if would be safer and there would be much less of a traffic jam there when the ferry from VG arrives and leaves.




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  2. nick says:

    then you’ll go and make a U turn by treasure isle.just fix the traffic lights.




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  3. vg resident says:

    Seems unbelievable to me that the traffic lights could not be repaired or replaced over 6 months. Who is responsible to see that they are functional. Maybe they should be fired.




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  4. Good job says:

    Thanks to the people in charge of putting the road block at that intersection at pasea. Without that concrete barrier some one may have already lose their life.good job ministry of communication and works.




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    • Right says:

      It needs to remain right where it is because even with the lights people don’t stop. Please consider leaving the barrier and let people drive a few feet up the road to make their turns, it will save a lot of lives!!




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  5. lol says:

    They had to explain this to big people?




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  6. Hodgie says:

    So the government I voted for don’t have any money to fix anything at all after 6months? You all rape the country. What’s the way forward?




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  7. sam the man says:

    well when it has taken over 6 months to install a temporary structure at West End ferry terminal – how long for some new traffic lights ? 1 year? bet the PS probably doesn’t even know who’s ordered them, or when its coming, or how much it’s costing!




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  8. J says:

    What traffic light? those are the least of the problems around here. those lights are in clear view, so people just need to drive with sense and stop being so selfish.




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  9. Saddened from afar says:

    Suggestion: In high pedestrian areas where motorists have disregard for the traffic lights and pedestrians, put in speed bumps that would force them to slow down. Just think, auto repair shops would benefits from the fools that then disregard the speed bumps. Stick it to them where it hurts….




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  10. Rubber Duck says:

    What we need in Tortola and Road Town in particular are UK style mini roundabouts. Traffic flows much more easily than with lights or US stop streets.

    And we need a one way system through Road Town.




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  11. Socrates says:

    Hurricane Irma damaged the traffic light on September 07, 2017, did it not ? Does it take 6 months plus to repair a damaged traffic light? Is this time reasonable? How long does it take to procure traffic signal parts? Are the skill sets available locally to repair the light? If no, does it take 6 months to bring someone on island to repair the light? Is this a priority for PWD, MCW, Premier ……..etc? Is lack of funds the problem? Is traffic safety important? Should government be embarrassed?




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  12. Llicensed morons says:

    The typical BVI driver is a self absorbed idiot who can’t see beyond their cellphone while driving. No better than scooter riders. Darwin will sort you moo moos out.




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  13. Just fix the lights says:

    Fix the lights, fix the lights, fix the lights!




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  14. Omg says:

    Isn’t this a top priority how muxh funds it would take to replace those lights we have to goo west in order to go east thus causing lots of chaos and congestion at station ave and roudabout
    One of yhe richest country in the caribbean per capita and ww cant even teplace a couple traffic lights really discouraging .investers are watching and observing our inability to prioritise




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