3rd Floor, Botanical House
According to the S.I. 20 of 2022 Road Transport Act, ‘Closing of Market Street to Vehicular Traffic Order, 2022’, no vehicles shall use the Market Street and Felix Paul Street during the following time intervals ‒ weekdays from 6.30am to 5.30pm and Saturdays from 6.30am to 3pm.
This became law on February 8, 2022 and since then the Ministry of Transport has been involved in the process of informing the tenants of Market Street and others.
Following an outcry by members of the public, road commissioner Wilson Denis and police superintendent Antoine Desnousse met with the press yesterday to give further details on this Act.
“Since Monday, we started to enforce the law and have been receiving suggestions from the public. We have our officers on site and they are helping the market vendors and we have been quite flexible so far to accommodate them. We are asking the vendors to adjust themselves in order to abide by the law,” explained Mr Denis.
Superintendent Desnousse added that they have been listening to the concerns of the vendors but these are things that need to be done in order to make Market Street safer for all.
“Over the last few years, some 15 accidents have been reported and even a tourist lost a finger in an accident. When Market Street is safer, for sure there will be more clients. Not everyone is ready to accept changes but with time, we are sure that the population will understand and abide by the law,” explained Superintendent Desnousse.
Both Superintendent Desnousse and road commissioner Denis explained that the law has been drafted and passed. “We know that there are some vendors who need to bring in their merchandise or even people coming to pick up their commodities such as beds or wardrobes from shops. We will be working closely with the merchants and the necessary will be done to accommodate such requests.”
To note that the government with the police and other institutions started discussions about pedestrianisation of Market Street and Felix Paul Street some 10 years back following the increase in the number of vehicles.
“We are not here to prevent or deprive businesses to supply our community with fresh products. If someone has a truck full of fish or vegetables, they will have to have a paper from our department, and the transport will be able to enter the street, offload their produce and leave immediately. It will be a case-by-case basis,” explained Mr Denis.
Mr Denis also shared that there are two different letters/cards that vendors will be using – one from the department of agriculture and one from the department of transport. The card the vendors are using from the department of agriculture does not automatically give permission for the vendors to enter the street for delivery. “We are helping the market vendors to adjust their timing and we will accompany them for some time until we implement the law.”
There are some vendors who need their trucks to sell their produce such as eggs and both Superintendent Desnousse and road commissioner Denis explained that they will still be allowed to do so, but they have to enter the market before the given time and leave the place after the time limit.
Superintendent Desnousse concluded the press meet by warning people not to assault law enforcement officers as they are doing their job.
“Any case reported will be dealt with severely and we will not tolerate this kind of behaviour. We should all work to make Seychelles safer for ourselves and for the visitors.”
Source: Nation Newspaper