There will be traffic disruptions in Port of Spain for the next three days to accomodate the state funeral for late President George Maxwell Richards, who suffered a heart attack last week Monday.
At a media briefing at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA) yesterday, National Security Minister Edmund Dillon advised the public of the traffic disruptions and parking restrictions along several of the streets in the city.
Richards’ funeral service will take place on Wednesday at NAPA but before that his body will lay in state at the Parliament on Wrightson Road.
On Tuesday it is expected his body will be taken through the University of the West Indies’ St Augustine Campus, where he was principal for more than a decade.
Dillon said the public can say their final farewell on Monday and Tuesday but advised of the traffic disruptions.
He explained that while parking will not be allowed on several streets where the funeral cortege will pass, traffic will also be disrupted.
Major taxi stands - including the St Ann’s, St James and Chagunas/San Fernando and the Diego Martin stands - will be temporarily relocated.
He also said there are limited invitations for the funeral service on Wednesday and are available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
They are available at NAPA from tomorrow.
On Monday, traffic will be disrupted while Richards’ body is at the Parliament between 6 am to 12 noon.
The affected streets include: Wrightson Road, Dock Road, Indepedence Square, Broadway, Abercromby Street, Frederick Street, Duke Street and Knox Street.
There will be no parking on those streets.
On Tuesday, Richards’ body will be taken hrough the University of the West Indies’ St Augustine campus, from 7.45 am, then would be taken to NAPA where it will once again lay in state from 10 am to 5.45 pm.
Dillon advised, in order for the procession to have unrestricted passage, parking will be restricted on Abbatoir Road, Colville Street, upper Frederick Street, Keate Street, Chancery Lane and Gordon Street, from 6 am to 10 am.
On Wednesday, the day of the service, Upper Frederick Street, Queen’s Park West, Independence Square North, Keate Street, parts of Upper Charlotte Street, Orange Grove Road between the Priority Bus Route and the entrance to the Hockey Centre, will have traffic restrictions.
The traffic restrictions would be temporary and the normal flow of traffic will resume as soon as the procession passes.
On Monday and Tuesday condolences books would be open for signing at the Parliament. On Monday the book would be available from 11 am to 5.45pm and on Tuesday it will be open from 8 am to 6 pm.
There will also be a condolence book at NAPA, on Tuesday, 10 am to 5.45 pm and on Thursday and Friday from 10 am to 6 pm. A book would also be available to the public in all the municipalities except Sangre Grande and Tunapuna.
Taxi stands would also have to be temporarily relocated to accomodate the three day procession.
Hart Street Taxi Stand would be moved to Queen Jenny Commissiong Street and the Chaguanas/San Fernando Taxt Stand on Broadway will be relocated to South Quay, on the Northern side, on Monday and Wednesday.
On Wednesday, the Priority Bus Route between Macoya Junction and Dinsley Junction would also be closed from 12.45 to 2 pm.
All of this country’s overseas diplomatic missions as well as State and non-state agencies in TT, have been advised to fly the national flag at half mast from today to Wednesday.
The national flag should be flown at half-mast today and tomorrow.
The flag should also be flown at half-mast on Wednesday, when Richards’ State funeral will take place.