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Hitting the road


Carlos Atwell

Hitting the road

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RELIEF MAY BE around the corner for residents of St Martin’s and surrounding areas in St Philip.
A team from the Ministry of Transport and Works (MTW), including chief technical officer Frank Thornhill and deputy chief technical officer Philip Tudor, was in the area yesterday.
The officials did not make a statement to the Press as Tudor said there was going to be a tour starting in St Martin’s today with Minister Michael Lashley and all questions would be answered then.
He said the tour would also include areas such as nearby Harlington and also East Point, which is farther away.
The action may be just in time as parents and grandparents taking their wards back to St Martin’s-Mangrove Primary after the Christmas vacation told the MIDWEEK NATION they were fed up and ready to start taking steps if their concerns continued to be ignored.
“We thought that when the children went off for summer vacation the road would finish. I will give them to the end of the month to finish this road, then we will write a letter to Minister [of Education Ronald] Jones, signed by all the parents, and if he does nothing, then we will get placards and march in front of his office or just take our children out of the school,” said Verna Jones.
She said they had been dealing with the unpaved road in St Martin’s and the subsequently heavily damaged road in Harlington for more than a year. She said children often came home with red eyes, itchy skin and more, and parents had been spending hundreds of dollars in medical bills.
Donna Chase took issue with how the School Meals Service was handled at the school. She said the children collected food from one building and walked with it uncovered to another, where all the dust kicked up by vehicles could settle on it.
“I think it would be appropriate for the health minister to say it is not fit for the children to walk with the food uncovered,” she said.
Chase said she had no problems with the teaching staff at St Martin’s-Mangrove as she sent her three children there and then her three grandchildren, but the situation was becoming intolerable, adding some parents had already signed the petition against the conditions.
Makeda Hoyte has three children attending the school, one of whom she said was asthmatic. She added that she took numerous steps to have the situation rectified but to no avail.
“I have called the call-in programmes and I spoke to the minister as well as to somebody at MTW. I was told the matter was under discussion and it is to be done, but I haven’t seen anything happen.
“I would like the road to be done because [there are] nursery children here and their immune systems are not as developed as the older children. Plus, it is a highway leading to the Crane Resort, so it looks bad,” she said.
Hoyte said simply relayering the road with marl was not good enough and some of the potholes appeared so large, the whole road looked like it would cave in.
Other parents and guardians expressing disgust were Sanchia Barrow, who said her son now suffered with allergies; Cameron Best, who said he and his nephew had to dodge potholes and vehicles as they walked, and Andrea Coppin, who said she had to take her child to the ear, nose and throat specialist three times.
However, Wade Gibson adopted a wait-and-see approach. He said while the road was bad, people had to be patient.
“These things take time and there are a lot of other places which need work but eventually they will get back here. While it could be better, it is really not as bad as some other places.”

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