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Roadblock Gridlock: Sour start to work week for T&T commuters

Monday, March 23, 2015

Gridlock gripped hundreds of commuters this morning in north, south, central east and west Trinidad, and parts of Tobago.

The Guardian understands commuters leaving San Fernando were delayed for up to two hours or more in traffic on the northbound lane, just to get to Gasparillo. Standstill traffic backed up into San Fernando, clogging the By-Pass Road and causing hundreds of commuters to arrive late to school and work. 

Commuters in Tobago were also severely affected. First Citzens Roxborough Branch and Republic Bank Auchenskeoh Branch remained closed, and staff were reportedly to be stuck in traffic.

Also among the casualities are those scheduled to fly with Caribbean Airlines (CAL) this morning. Several regional and international CAL flights were delayed, and a post on CAL's Facebook page said that the airline would waive penalties for affected passengers.

In West, police vehicles were seend driving east along the westbound lane on the Western Main Road, Cocorite to avoid the standstill traffic caused by their own early-morning roadblock in the area. In this video, one commuter is visibly upset as police search the contents of a bag in his trunk this morning.

Public outrage bubbled on social media, as drivers were forced to sit in standstill traffic along major roadways for up to an hour or more, while police conducted stop and search exercises at major arteries during rush hour. 

It is the second consecutive weekday that police have chosen to conduct early-morning roadblocks at that time, and public sentiment is coming to a boil. On Friday, scores of commuters were unavoidably affected by early-morning gridlock traffic on the westbound Churchill Roosevelt Highway, also the result of a police exercise.


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