President of the Truckers and Traders Association Horace Ameade and chairman of the Tobago Chapter of the Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce Diane Hadad has told Guardian Media truckers face a litany of woes, including having their goods stolen from trucks on Wrightson Road, inadequate parking, and long waits at the port.
“Up to yesterday ( Monday), goods were stolen from a truck. The driver went to process his ticket and by the time he got back, thieves had cut his tarpaulin and gone with the goods,” Ameade told Guardian Media on Tuesday.
“We can only park on Wrightson Road, sometimes as far as the Hyatt, because the port is on lockdown as part of the COVID precautions. We understand and appreciate what has to be done but the port can ease the pressure,” he said.
“Police also harass us about parking on the road. We don’t want to break the law, but where else can we line up to get on the Cabo Star? We ask the police to show some compassion and to protect our goods too.”
Commenting on the situation, Tobago’s chamber head Hadad said she is aware of the situation.
” We cannot afford to have people in a struggling environment, losing both time and money. This should not be allowed to continue, Hadad told Guardian Media.
She said the truckers had made several recommendations to resolve the issue.
The truckers are recommending the Cabo Star continue to leave at 1 pm. However, they want the port to allow truckers to begin boarding the vessel at 10 am not 11:00 am, as is customary.
” This recommendation will ease the traffic congestion on Wrightson Road,” the truckers’ association president told Guardian Media.
” The Port can also begin to sell tickets earlier so that we do not have to park along Wrightson Road,” he added.
Guardian Media reached out to acting Chief Executive Officer -Trinidad & Tobago Inter-Island Transportation Company Vilma Lewis- Cockburn for a comment on the situation.
She said after talking with the truckers on Tuesday, a decision was taken to begin processing truckers’ tickets from 10 am today