A new traffic plan implemented in Sangre Grande left scores of drivers confused and resulted in traffic gridlock stretching as far as Valencia on Wednesday.
All traffic leaving the town will now have to pass along Railway Road, which runs parallel to the Eastern Main Road, at exit at the turn off near Guaico Tamana Road.
All traffic heading east will use the Eastern Main Road (EMR), which has been converted to one-way traffic up to Wallenvalle.
The changes are effective between the peak hours of 6 am to 9 am and again between 2 pm and 6 pm.
Motorists are also prohibited from turning left onto Ajim Baksh Street from the EMR and cannot turn left onto Brierley Street, which also runs parallel to the EMR, from Picton Road.
Brierley Street, which begins off the Toco Main Road, will facilitate one-way traffic heading west during the peak hours. The traffic flow on several other streets was also adjusted.
In at least two instances, motorists who did not observe the no entry signs posted at Railway Road, which begins at the Picton Road intersection, avoided head on collisions, eyewitnesses said.
Motorists said it took them more than an hour to reach the end of Railway Road as the plan went into effect.
Drivers as well as residents are calling on authorities to rethink the new traffic plan.
Residents said some maxi taxi drivers were seen overtaking on Railway Road, a narrow roadway.
Because of the increased traffic, residents living off side streets along Railway Road complained that they had to wait for inordinate periods to leave their homes.
Terry Rondon, the chairman of the Sangre Grande Regional Corporation, said he too was caught in almost 45 minutes traffic.
He said the new plan was not working and called on authorities to revert to the previous traffic arrangements.
Rondon said he intended to write to the Traffic Management Division as the new plan was not in the interest of the travelling public and motorists.
“I was part of the chaos travelling into Sangre Grande this morning and I publicly apologise for the inconvenience this morning,” Rondon said.
Taxi driver Andy Beharry said the new plan was a failure.
Businesswoman Roxanne Baksh asked if any consideration had been given to the safety of school children who used these narrow roads on a daily basis. She claimed that those responsible for the new arrangement did not reside in Sangre Grande.
In response, Minister of Works and Transport Rohan Sinanan said he had not receiving any report from the Traffic Management Branch about the new traffic plan in Sangre Grande.
He said he was aware that new traffic plan had been Gazetted since 2012 and the police decided to implemented the plan on Wednesday.
- by Ralph Banwarie