Persons attending the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Twenty20 tournament at Kensington Oval can expect easier access to the venue. However, most persons are being advised that they will have to ???park and ride’.
This was disclosed by Deputy Chief Technical Officer, Design Services, Ministry of Transport and Works, Cheryl Bennett-Inniss.
Explaining traffic arrangements, she said: "It’s going to be quite different from what we did in 2007, in that we’re having fewer restrictions with respect to vehicular traffic in, and around Kensington Oval. Fontabelle is going to be one-way going towards Bridgetown, from its junction at Holborn Circle to Lakes Folly.
"And we’re having two road closures; these are at President Kennedy Drive, between the junctions at Westbury Road and Holborn Circle. And Fontabelle Road will be closed for an hour before the start of the first match and it will be closed again for one hour at the end of the second match. "This is to facilitate the movement of spectators to, and from, the venue and to facilitate travel for the event traffic."
In terms of how motorists would be affected, the official, who is also Assistant to the Logistics Manager of the tournament, Adrian Griffith, pointed out: "They will be impacted but they will have the alternative of using Redman’s Drive and also Prescod Boulevard to get around Fontabelle Road in that direction to go north. With respect to the road closures, the public service vehicles will be re-routed again using Redman Drive and they will also be using Lower Westbury Road and that was also a similar route that they used in 2007."
Mrs. Bennett-Inniss warned that no parking would be allowed on any roads near Kensington Oval, including the Spring Garden Highway, President Kennedy Drive, Prescod Boulevard, Fontabelle Road, Redman Drive and Kensington New Road.
"The No Parking [regulations] will be strictly enforced. The Royal Barbados Police Force will be employing their wrecker service, so for those drivers who think they might be able to just park, they might not find their cars when they return, because we have to keep the roads clear for the event traffic and for the spectators, and especially the Park and Ride vehicles and for security reasons as well."
In addition, Operations Manager at the Transport Board and Assistant to the Logistics Manager, Desmond Sabir, explained that special arrangements would also be in place for persons using the Park and Ride service.
He said: "Those persons will be facilitated at the National Cultural Foundation, Garfield Sobers Sports Complex and Weymouth ???B’, Roebuck Street. There is also a Park and Ride site for persons with disabilities at St. Leonard’s church. So they will drive to these Park and Ride sites and then join the shuttle to Kensington Oval and then shuttle back in the afternoon." The official further added that a fee of three dollars will be charged for the single journey and five dollars for the round-trip.
In terms of the safety of vehicles, motorists can also rest assured that their vehicles will be secured. "Security will be at each site. That will be determined by the event organiser, there will also be volunteers to assist with parking to avoid collision [of vehicles]," he maintained.
Another bonus, Mr. Sabir mentioned, is that businesses in the area will not have to be issued with vehicle access permits as in 2007. He added that a parking scheme would be employed only for the event traffic and only these vehicles will need permits.
"So you will have access throughout the day and of course you will be guided again by police officers who will be at the selected traffic points, one of them is of course going to be Holborn Circle, the Spring Garden Highway [and] President Kennedy Drive into the section by the traffic lights. There’ll be another control point at the other end of Fontabelle, Lakes Folly, [the] Redman Drive area and there are two locations- Westbury Road, President Kennedy Drive, where police officers will be there to assist the movement of vehicles and pedestrians, but the access will be maintained throughout the match day," the official pointed out.
"The one-way system on Fontabelle will take effect from midnight to midnight on match days," he underscored.
The Barbados leg of the International Cricket Council’s Twenty20 West Indies, tournament will commence with matches between Bangladesh and Australia on Wednesday, May 5 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. and a night match between South Africa and Afghanistan from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. The finals will get under way on Sunday, May 16 at Kensington Oval.