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Traffic chaos mars CPL final

Monday, September 11, 2017

The jubilation over the T&T Knight Riders' victory in the 2017 Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) final on Saturday night has been overshadowed by the traffic chaos as fans tried to get to the venue, the Brian Lara Cricket Academy in south Trinidad.

Some of those fans yesterday took to social media to complain bitterly about being trapped for hours in traffic gridlock and described the experience as "real hell."

One man, who identified himself only as Christopher, posted: "Two and a half hours and the Brian Lara Stadium is still way distant. The traffic is real hell. Eight overs into the game."

Another complained that there was no police presence along the Solomon Hochoy Highway, resulting in a "free for all" on the shoulder.

Contacted yesterday, however, CPL business development manager Kairon Serrette, who worked with several entities, including the Police and Fire Services, Works Ministry, UDeCOTT and Sport Company of T&T, in formulating a plan for Saturday's match, yesterday said he had not receive any negative reports about the event.

"In the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday games, as far as I understand, getting to the stadium was much easier and as far as I know no one complained," he said.

"It seems that all the measures that were put in place were working. It seemed that the final was well attended. I got there at 7 pm and the traffic wasn't that difficult, but people were already there and a lot of the parking spaces were already filled."

Serrette said there were notices in the newspapers about the traffic arrangements for the games, including alternate routes to the venue.

"In addition, the Works Ministry would have supplied signs instructing people which lanes to keep and to me the police presence was very strong," Serrette said.

He said even when patrons entered the facility there were police officers at several points.

"I think the issue was the finals was sold out. To me there were a lot of improvement and that was due to the planning that happened before. It may not be perfect, but it was a marked improvement and it is something that the authorities are going to continue to work on," Serrette said.

He said there will be a post mortem to examine the strengths and weaknesses of Saturday's match and to chart a way forward as more games are to be held at the stadium.

Sport Minister Darryl Smith, who attended the game, could not be reached for comment yesterday as he did not answer his cell phone.


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