Yesterday, Sunday December 18, 2016, a number of Gros Islet bus drivers were issued parking tickets by police for using space designated to Monchy buses. According to Gros Islet bus drivers, that area had been used for at least twenty years when Monchy buses did not operate on Sundays.
It was said to be a safe haven from crime in the Darling Road/George V Park area, as Gros Islet drivers have been robbed when parked in their designated pickup location on Darling Road, next to the Anglican Infant School. Drivers say they feel targeted by the police and see no reason why tickets should be issued when the Monchy bus parking area was not in use.
It was late afternoon when police issued the parking tickets and soon after a spontaneous decision was taken to protest the action by going on strike. As a result many passengers were left stranded yesterday evening and had to make alternate arrangements to get to their homes and jobs in the Gros Islet area.
Early this morning drivers have decided to call off their strike action while a complaint is made on behalf of the affected drivers at the Traffic Department by President of the Gros Islet Minibus Association, Claudius Joseph. Based on that meeting with police officials a further course of action will be decided.
At one of the busiest travel times of the year, during the Christmas season, perhaps it was the best decision for all involved as any prolonged strike action would adversely affect both bus drivers and passengers.