It must be noted that there are superb features of the complex. The main building is well constructed and has quite adequate space. The Apron or parking space is expansive.
However, at present the complex is not serving the fishers and people as it should have been. There are a number of issues which have to be settled – PRACTICAL ISSUES.
The facility was established ignoring the fundamental need OF PROVIDING SHELTER FOR THE BOATS. In NEWTOWN, the boats are sheltered from the brunt of the waves by a stone barrier. Thus it is easier for the fishers to operate and protect their boats. WHY SHOULD THERE BE PROTECTION IN NEWTOWN BUT NOT IN OLD ROAD? ANY MODIFICATION AT OLD ROAD CANNOT BE COMPLETE OR MEANINGFUL UNLESS THERE IS SUCH PROTECTION PROVIDED.
The pier is too SHORT and must be LENGTHENED. The shoreline was advanced southwards or seawards by the placement of tripods. Much of the spaces between the tripods have been filled in. The waves no longer take the full distances to the shore where their energy is dissipated but “bang” against the “shore”.
There is thus too much rebound wave energy into the zone where the boats are to be tied to the pier. Boats are thus trapped in the incoming energy and the untamed rebound energy. Boats are thus subject to a turbulent rocking and beating on the sides of the pier. As a result a number of them have therefore sustained loss and damage. The pier can hardly accommodate two boats and only in the calmest of waters. Fishers thus have to anchor their boats at distances away from the pier.
Loading and unloading is thus seriously affected and docking at nights is hazardous; thus night-fishing is not a popular choice or event. A longer pier would have accommodated ferry-type vessels.
The pier is not only short but hazardous because many of the square spaces have remained uncovered and fishers have suffered injury especially in the darker periods of the day. For the squares to be banded in IRON, only one thing can happen; i.e., “rusting”. Rusting inhibits easy removal and replacement.
One of Old Road’s notable fishermen Mr. Oliver Spencer has already commented on the orientation of the ramp which practically runs EAST TO WEST. Most ramps run North to South. Because of the PROTECTION at the Newtown complex, the East to West ramp poses no problem. It is noteworthy that in Old Road there is no barrier but the ramp has the same orientation.
IF THE CRITICAL PROBLEMS AND CHALLENGES ARE NOT ADDRESSED, OVER TIME THE SECTION OR PARTS OF THE COMPLEX VITAL TO FISHING OPERATIONS WILL NOT SERVE THEIR PURPOSES.
Discussion of this facility cannot be complete unless it is pointed out that there is a need for a fuel supply at the facility.