Govt contemplating alternative solutions to roadside vending

Public Works Minister Juan Edghill

Noting that unregulated roadside vending poses many dangers to the public, Public Works Minister Juan Edghill said the government will have to examine alternative solutions which do not disrupt the economic livelihood of vendors.

He made the remarks during an interview on the sidelines of an event earlier this week.

According to Edghill, “people who vend on the pave, that in its self is a hazard because people are now forced to walk on the road as against walking on the pave.”

Moreover, he pointed out that it poses an even greater risk to persons with disabilities.

“People who are disabled, visually impaired and all of the them, they’re at risk,” the Minister stated.

In fact, Edghill said he has already met with representatives of this vulnerable group to discuss ways in which government can provide assistance.

“We’ve tried to assist them with some aspect of road safety by putting in sounds at the traffic light so they can know when the lights change,” he revealed.

Edghill explained too that “shop owners who cast the front of the front of the shops, the curbs and the pave high up to prevent flooding, people who are visually impaired, when they get the level then come stumbling down, we’ve dealt with all of that, but perhaps we can do more.”

But on a more general note, the Public Works Minister admitted that unregulated roadside vending needs to be addressed, and that the outcome must be amicable among all parties.

“Every time you move somebody, you’re going to get a complaint; ‘I’m a single mother, I’m a small business’, so the interruption of economic activity is not priority of this government,” he explained.

“I would probably have to call in all the vendors, especially those who selling bread and dog food and so on, because when you come to the edge of the road and you’re selling and somebody stop to buy, you’re backing up the whole traffic, and a whole lot of other things,” the Minister pointed out.