Tell Duguid to wheel and come again

What does Senior Minister William Duguid mean when he declared this week that Barbados “has experienced significant and disconnected suburban growth…combined with the doubling number of cars, has resulted in peak hour gridlock and increasing levels of congestion almost everywhere on the island”. He went on to PROMISE that the government “expect to develop a national transportation mobility plan that will guide future investment. We will propose transportation strategies at the island scale”.

What the hell!

What immediately came to mind after reading was – cart before the horse and the chant Mini Bus Hustle by Winston Farrell.

Isn’t one of government’s priorities to plan development in the country it is charged to govern in order to avoid the chaos Duguid highlighted in his address to the Barbados Town Planning Society’s (BTPS)? If there is one example the value of orderly planning of a country’s development it must be Singapore? The fact Senior Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office Dr. William Duguid with responsibility for infrastructural projects was unembarrassed in his public observation should make all sensible Barbadians pause.

For almost 50 years successive governments have refused to effectively regulate the private transportation sector. As a result the sector now strives in a sub culture that threatens to supplant mainstream. Full in the knowledge how we have crafted the current state, Duguid would have us believe his government has the wherewithal to execute a national transportation plan? This must be what it feels like to be apathetic, cynical with a deep distrust of government. 

Barbados has earned the unenviable reputation as being afflicted with implementation deficit. Senior Minister William Duguid will have to buck the historical trend to win over this cynical blogmaster.

15 thoughts on “Tell Duguid to wheel and come again

    • @Hants

      BU posted a blog a couple weeks ago to say authorities clueless about how to arrest the problem. Like the minibus culture the problems and solutions are interconnected and intertwined.

  1. @ David,

    The shootings and murders are black on black local crimes.

    As long as Tourists don’t get shot there will be no serious ACTION to solve the problem of guns and gangs.

    Nuff long talk but no action.

  2. Worse words I ever heard out of a politicians mouth

    “Everybody should have a little car at the door” Owen Arthur. And I liked Owen.

    Then and now I wondered if he was channeling the car dealerships.

    Then and now I thought if everybody has a car, then at their door is exactly where it will have to stay in order to avoid gridlock on our roads.

    A Prime Minister’s job is not to act as salesman for car dealerships. A Prime Minister’s job is to work with his Cabinet, MP’s and civil servants to create and implement sensible public policy. It never has been and never will be good public policy for every Bajan family to have a car.

    So here we are in 2022 in gridlock hell.

    I haven’t bought a car since 1987. I haven’t owned a car since 1999. I will never ever buy a car again.

    Cuhdear Bajan
    Car Free and Happy

  3. Good for you.
    The people that have to wait hours for a bus to get home after a long hard day at work ain’t paying you no mind though.

    Yuh tink um duz be easy leffing work at 4:30 and not getting home until minutes to nine or later? Then got to get up early next morning to catch the first bus?

    All now I here got my eyes pon uh sports swift that I see fuh sale. Gridlock vs bus terminal is a no brainer for me.

    • The value system for the majority of Barbadians is about acquiring a vehicle to be perceived as ‘having arrived’, it isn’t only about access to efficient transport.

    • Efficient school bus system the answer
      In your Midweek Nation edition you reported Dr Duguid, in his capacity as a Senior Minister with responsibility for Infrastructural Projects, saying that Barbadians need to shift from being carcentric to being transit network-oriented.
      I couldn’t agree more but for the major flaws in this obvious conclusion to our major gridlock issues in which we find ourselves.
      The reason why we have so many cars on the roads is that the existing transit system has failed the demands and needs of the travelling public.
      Our transit system [our bus system] is inefficient and too time-consuming to be practical to meet the needs of modern-day lives. Furthermore, I don’t see Barbados having the funds and space to allow for a new type of mass transit system.
      However, we can look at it from another point of view and ask ourselves why the road systems are passable and able to cope with the demand during
      school holidays.
      The obvious solution, apart from changing the way that schools are selected for students by making all schooling localised, is to concentrate on dedicated buses from all around the island to each of our schools or school areas, which are supervised, so that they are safe for all to use.
      The use of the buses could be mandatory. Dedicated bus services for schools are standard in many parts of the world.
      One bus carrying, for example, 46 passengers would mean that there could potentially be 46 fewer vehicles in rush-hour traffic through the introduction of just one more bus.
      Multiply this out over the entire school system and the reduction would have an amazing effect on our present road gridlock.
      The buses, which would
      be dedicated to the schools they serve would go from one collection area directly to those schools.
      They could also be used by the schools during the day for school events for both cultural and sporting reasons at museums, stadiums, at the swimming pool or wherever.
      It opens up all sorts of avenues for extended options for our educational system as well.
      It would also reduce the stress and tension experienced by those constantly stuck in traffic, not to mention the wasting of fuel whilst “stuck” and the resultant pollution.
      There shouldn’t be any need for expensive major new infrastructural work to be carried out apart from the purchase of new buses and their storage and maintenance.
      – Chris Trew

      Source: Nation

  4. The minibus culture is easily solved. But wunna too soft to solve it.

    After collecting a few off for some hard labour for some months, the problem will solve itself.

    • Steupsing at culture
      For many years I’ve been telling anyone who would listen about the dire state of our educational system. A few years ago we were told through the media that somewhere around 60 per cent of Barbadian students leave school without any certificates. There was no outcry, no sense of public outrage as far as I can remember.
      So when I see the levels of concern and fear among Barbadians today about the rising murder rate and levels of gang violence, I have to fight to hold back a steupse. They do not see the connection?
      Lack of interest
      For many years I’ve been telling anyone who would listen about the folly of our obsessive emphasis on the economy and the corresponding lack of interest or focus on any other area.
      Along with much of the world, we have come to feel, think and act as if fixing the economy is all that a nation has to do and everything else will follow.
      It has not yet seemed to dawn on us that if we don’t deeply address the educational system, the health care system, the welfare system and so on the economic system will inevitably struggle. The steupse has been pushing at the gates of my lips for long.
      Of course, many argue that everything takes money and that if we don’t focus on the economy we wouldn’t be able to address any of the above. And yet some of those same people reject the idea that poverty is one of the roots of the growing levels of violence.
      They argue, “We come up poor and had less than these young people today. And we ain get on so.” If we say that poverty, on its own, is not a sufficient cause, then economic growth on its own may not be a sufficient solution.
      Of course, rising levels of poverty are a factor. However, strong social bonds and values, what Professor Eudine Barriteau calls the culture of the village, provided some protection in the past. But many of you steupsed at the suggestion years ago that Barbados was more than an economy. That it is a society.
      And so, we’ve had not one, but several, decades lost to narrow and short-sighted economic discourse. In those decades of economania, other aspects of the society were neglected.
      The health of Barbadians declined. Rates of obesity among children climbed.
      The claim of being a highly educated people became a wanton boast. The pride of nationhood came to be seen as irrelevant because, in an atmosphere of rabid capitalist fog, where nothing but the bottom line can be seen, things like nationhood don’t make obvious, immediate dollars. And, therefore, to many they don’t make sense.
      Christmas is perceived to make more dollars, and therefore merchants seem to see it as making more sense than Independence. So I fight back a steupse when I hear Christmas ads on the radio starting in October right through the month of November.
      Christian nation
      Christmas is no longer exclusively, nor even primarily, a Christian holiday. Just like Barbados is no longer exclusively, nor maybe even primarily, a Christian nation.
      One thing that seems to unite Christian and Gentile Barbadians is not love of God or country, but a love of money. This worship of mammon caused some persons to dismiss the republican transition with the question, “How does this affect the economy or put money in people’s pockets?” Because to them, if it doesn’t make dollars it doesn’t make sense.
      They do not see the relevance of culture and symbolism to the economy and the society.
      This is why I feel to steupse when all of a sudden they see the importance only to get outraged at the violent lyrics in the music or blame bashment culture for the rise in antisocial behaviour.
      Economically blinkered vision cannot see that developing culture is the foundation of a thriving economy and stable society. For decades we have talked about cultural industries, seemingly without realising that we must support culture if culture is to support industry.
      We just recently allowed a cultural assault on our children’s psyches by an international agency. This reportedly was in exchange for a large sum of money.
      A nation’s culture shapes the psyche and consciousness of its people. A people’s consciousness is its main security.
      I held back a steupse a while back when a politician criticised me for saying this. Because I have faith that he and others will soon finally understand and appreciate that Barbados is not just an economy or a set of policies. It is a cultural space which cannot be left to chance and global trends.

      Adrian Green is a communications specialist. Email

      Source: Nation

  5. A lil gem from Duguid again
    “Senior Minister in the Prime Minister’s office, Dr William Duguid says that the Government is wary of tackling more than they can handle and will approach the problem in sizable amounts so that it is done properly.

    “We will go at it in little chunks as we lost the money from the Inter-American Development Bank. So we intend to do these projects out of savings and the normal transition of central Government funds so that bit by bit we still achieve that improvement to Greenfield,” he explained (Nation)

    What money is he referring to?

  6. I see multiple recent Resolutions for the compulsory acquisition of lands for a multitude of ‘public purposes’. Yet, the members of both houses are expected to vote on these, and nowhere does it mention the PRICE. Just the current owner, the size and a physical description.
    And we wonder why we cannot balance revenues with expenses?

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