Christopher Famous

Don’t vilify the W&E road crews

  • Deserving of appreciation: the Eastern Road Crew keeping our highways clear of excessive vegetation. From left, Donovan Adams, Javon Douglas, Robert Wilson, Gregory Tucker and John Vanderpool (Photograph supplied)

A few days ago, former MP Jeff Sousa made an online comment about a government road crew moving an abandoned motorcycle from one side of the road to the other during the course of clearing the roads.

Perhaps, just perhaps, it is just me, but a few things stood out with his statement.

The first being that it would be impossible for a road crew to carry out their duties of trimming trees and cutting grass without moving the motorcycle.

Second, road crews are not legally allowed to remove abandoned or presumed stolen vehicles.

Last, and perhaps most important, the continued narrative of negativity towards government workers, in particular the crews that are assigned to keeping our highways clear of excess vegetation, needs to stop.

It really needs to stop.

During the summer months of excessive growth of vegetation, it is near impossible for the three road crews to cover every major and minor public road on the island.

With 15 men to cover our entire island, we cannot expect for every road to be clear every day.

Compounding the issue is that because of environmental concerns, the Government has stopped using Roundup to spray on the weeds that live along our roadways.

Hence, the reality that we are faced with every summer.

Luckily for us, with cooler weather, the growth of weeds has slowed.

This now gives the road crews a chance to catch up with some of the areas that have not previously received the attention needed.

In addition to hitting those areas, many of those who form those crews have been volunteering their expertise and time during the weekends to join residents of Devonshire and Smith’s parishes in an effort to cover quite a number of secondary roads.

As a prime example, this joint team was able to complete the first stage of clearing the pathway between Devon Springs Road and Green Acres Estate Road last Saturday.

We were able to remove 25 bags of discarded bottles and two truckloads of vegetation.

Most importantly, we were able to create a wider and safer walkway for the residents and children of surrounding areas.

The work crews were able to assist us greatly with the cutting of larger trees and the trucking of all vegetation and trash.

There still remains a bit more work to do on that particular project and surrounding areas, so our next clean-up date will be December 15 between 9am and noon.

For those who are interested in assisting, we look forward to seeing you.

We will be operating from the entrance of Green Acres Estate.

If you are not able to physically assist, please feel free to drop some water or snacks to the volunteers.

In the new year, we will be assisting needy seniors to maintain their properties. So if you know of any senior that needs their grass cut or small painting jobs, please let us know.

Additionally, if you know of any street lights that are out or any area that needs sprucing up, please feel free to send me a picture via Whatsapp or e-mail.

In closing, whenever you see those road crews along the way, please take a quick moment to thank them for their service. They are truly deserving of our appreciation.

Christopher Famous is the government MP for Devonshire East (Constituency 11). You can reach him at WhatsApp on 599-0901 or e-mail at cfamous@plp.bm