Park and Ride Chaos at World Cup Cricket Match in Tarouba

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By Prior Beharry

PATRONS at the International Cricket Council (ICC) T20 World Cup group match at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy (BLCA) in Tarouba on Wednesday evening endured hours of frustration using the park and ride facilities to get to and from the game between West Indies and New Zealand.

Gates opened at 6.30 pm, just two hours before the start and patrons had to go to Petrotrin refinery in Pointe-a-Pierre or South Park in Tarouba to be shuttled to and from the venue.

Patrons were told that shuttle services will run every five minutes from South Park car park and every ten minutes from Pointe-a-Pierre before the game to accommodate the expected influx of spectators during game day including persons with disabilities.  

BLCA has a capacity of 14,500 spectators.

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Before the game there was stand still traffic at the entrances to both park and ride venues.

When the game ended around midnight, there spectators gathered in front of the BLCA, with scores of police officers in uniform around. The Gasparilla Road out of the stadium was closed off to the shuttle busses. Only dignitaries such as Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley and his entourage, government and Cricket West Indies officials were allowed be escorted out of the traffic jam.

So it meant that all of the vehicles, allowed special parking at the academy were in gridlock for more than an hour after the game.

Spectators, were visibly upset with police officers who were just standing around and seemed not to know what to do. Young children with their parents were also seen waiting on the shuttles.

Shuttles therefore had to use the Tarouba exit south of the stadium and then head back north in the case of people having their cars at Pointe-a-Pierre.

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Spectators were seen walking to South Park while others headed north on the shoulder of the Solomon Hochoy Highway to Pointe-a-Pierre.

AZP News contacted Head of Public Relations of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC) Damon Leon who said such logistics was for law enforcement and the Ministry of Sport.

Waiting for the shuttle

Kern De Freitas of the Sport Company of Trinidad and Tobago (SPORTT) said that its chairman Douglas Camacho, who is also co-chair of the LOC, was out of the country. He promised to get a statement to AZP News.

Calls to Gold Commander of the World Cup for security Assistant Commissioner of Police Kelvern Thompson went unanswered.

AZP News also sent questions for Minister of Sport Shamfa Cudjoe-Lewis via WhatsApp.

There has been no response.

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