Some British tourists in Saint Lucia for a nine-night vacation have joined residents complaining about the deplorable state of the Guyabois Road in Saltibus.
The visitors said the situation put a damper on their stay.
Matt Hammond, his wife, their two children, his sister-in-law, and her partner booked into Pineapple Cottage Airbnb on the Guyabois Road.
The group spokesman said it was his second vacation in Saint Lucia.
He recalled that the group hired a vehicle from a car rental company that was aware of the state of the Guyabois Road.
“In the past, when we have rented from them, they have always given us a four-wheel drive vehicle,” Hammond told St. Lucia Times.
He disclosed that this time around, the company provided a Toyota Noah 4WD to accommodate everyone.
“Last year it was bad. We could maneuver with several bumps. But this time, it’s like off-road driving. We had to change the vehicle because it lacked power to get down the road,” Hammond recalled.
However, he said the new vehicle, a Toyota Voxy, got stuck due to the state of the road.
“We were stuck for about two to three hours trying to maneuver the vehicle because it bottomed out, and we had to go change the vehicle back to the previous one because at least that one could get down the road,” Hammond recalled.
He explained that it meant that he and the other visitors lost a day of their vacation arranging to get up and down the Guyabois Road to and from their accommodation.
Hammond said the situation put a damper on their vacation.
“We lost a day. We planned to go to Rodney Bay. So unfortunately, because of the vehicle we got, which did not have enough power, we couldn’t go. The vehicle they swopped had the power but couldn’t get down the track, so we had to give it back,” the Yorkshire resident stated.
He said two firefighters trained to drive fire engines and off-road vehicles in the UK are part of the visiting group.
Hammond said the duo could not maneuver the vehicle down the Guyabois Road.
“That’s how bad it is,” he lamented.
“Sort it out. Think about the impact on the economy. Think about the Southerners on the Island, the impact on the local residents, and the inability to attract tourism funding to the economy to support local businesses,” was Hammond’s message to the Saint Lucia authorities.
The visitors were due to leave for home on Tuesday.
In his New Year’s address to the nation, Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre said the Government would allocate significant technical and financial resources to road rehabilitation and construction.
” We will commence remedial work on roads island-wide, including the Castries Gros Islet Highway. We expect significant progress on both Lots of the Millennium Highway Project, as progress on Lot One has so far been unsatisfactory,” Pierre stated.