National Carnival Commission (NCC) has agreed to a proposal for an extension of the parade of the bands route for four large mas bands on Carnival Tuesday, between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

In a release last night, the NCC stated that on January 30, 2014, a proposal was made to establish an extension of the parade of the bands route to allow bands to better plan their movements to allow a better mas experience.

This proposal was submitted by bands Harts, Tribe, Yuma, and Bliss.

The NCC stated the bands involved agreed to set their start points in the St Clair area, Stanmore Ave to the east being the furthest point.

They will proceed west along Queens Park West and St Clair Avenue to Damien Street. Proceed south on Damien St to Bellesmythe St (or Taylor St) South on Bellesmythe St (or Taylor St) to Maraval Parkway, moving South on Maraval Parkway to enter the National Stadium compound through the Castro (west) gate; around the outside of the stadium to the Jean-Pierre complex West Court; across a stage installed in the Jean Pierre Complex, out through the West Court and exit the National Stadium compound through the east gate, moving north on Hamilton Holder/OConnor St back to Ariapita Ave.

In approving the proposal, the noted that while participation in Carnival in Port of Spain has grown over the years, the parade route has remained the same, thus causing needless delays and bottlenecks .

We are committed to providing Trinidad and Tobago with tangible transformation to the Carnival product. This route extension allows us to make a small change to the traditional route, which we hope will allow us to see how best to apply systematic changes to the route towards making the Carnival experience a better one, stated NCC chairman Allison Demas.

While we acknowledge that we must be careful that the route extension does not bring an elitist division in Carnival, the NCC is guided by professional engineers who see a deeper merit to this route extension, it is expected to alleviate congestion, reducing the masquerader count at the Savannah by approximately 15,000 persons, she added.

NCC facts about route extension

1) The route extension will allow increased masquerader and spectator comfort, and reduce crowd control and management issues.

2) Engineers have advised that by removing four of the largest bands from the queue to enter the Savannah stage, this would reduce congestion by 30 per cent on the route, this means less congestion on the route particularly at bottleneck points leading to the Queens Park Savannah.

3) Harts will cross the QPS stage early on Carnival Tuesday as is their tradition, and will then proceed to the Jean Pierre Complex.

4) The route extension will be valid only on Carnival Tuesday from 8 a.m to 4 p.m. The route extension is not valid on Carnival Monday.

5) The Minister of National Security Gary Griffith in discussion with members of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service has indicated that provisions will be made to increase the complement of protective personnel with members of the Defence Force, to ensure the safety and security of masqueraders, spectators and residents of the Carnival city and its environs.

6) SPORTT has been privately engaged by the coalition of bands to secure permission to utilise the Jean Pierre Complex and the attendant facilities.

7) The costs associated with this venue will be borne by these bands. Neither the State, the NCC nor the NCBA will have any costs attached to this route extension.

8) The competition parade route remains the same and the free flow of bands to the savannah stage is expected to be increased but bottlenecks may be inevitable.

9) The National Operating Centre at Knowsley Building is moving ahead with plans to equip Carnival bands with GPS locaters so that information on their location can be used in crowd and traffic control.

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