NEWS

Long Queues Now As Land Transport Authority Closes Several Branches

In Valelevu, the queue stretched from the counter all the way to the front gate. The authority’s chief executive officer, Samuel Simpson, said they would take some measures, but they did not expect such a large crowd.
05 May 2020 11:11
Long Queues Now As Land Transport Authority Closes Several Branches
Eremasi Lolo (left), was one of many who waited in line to be served at the Land Transport Authority head office in Valelevu on May 4, 2020 as the authority closed several branches. Photo: Ronald Kumar

 

Land Transport Authority’s response to COVID-19 has led to the closure of five of its branches. However, this has created a bigger problem as hundreds lined up in Valelevu, Nausori, Downtown Boulevard and Lami to get services which usually would have been spread out.

The authority’s branches in Korovou, Nakasi, Navua, Nadi and Sports City in Suva have all been closed.

Yesterday morning customers who frequented the closed branches made their way to either Valelevu, Lami or Nausori.

In Valelevu, the queue stretched from the counter all the way to the front gate. The authority’s chief executive officer, Samuel Simpson, said they would take some measures, but they did not expect such a large crowd.

“Footfall at all our branches has declined as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions; we do not foresee future problems,” he said.

He said staff from the closed branches were redeployed.

Fiji Driving School Association national president Deo Narayan said it was a step in the opposite direction.

“The amount of people coming for the same service at one centre has almost doubled. I was at Valelevu this morning (yesterday) and I had to wait long,” he said.

“I saw people, even senior citizens waiting in line. There was also no one controlling the crowd as the rush to get things done had many violating the social distancing rules.

“I urge the Minister for Transport to look at the issue because for some people, a driver’s licence is their means of earning a living.”

Sameer Khan of Laucala Bay in Suva said he was confused because a COVID-19 response would mean people spread all over instead of being concentrated in one location.

Eremasi Lolo of Nakasi had gone to Nakasi on Friday to renew his license which was expiring on the same day, but was told at Nakasi that they were closing.

He said this happened after standing in the line for over an hour. He then went to Sports City, Suva, with the same result. Mr Lolo was booked by Police last Saturday.

Yesterday he lined up at Valelevu LTA to pay a fine and renew his license.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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