Police say yesterday’s strike unlawful, bus operators told to follow new rules
BY BEN BILUA
THE Royal Solomon Islands Police Forced has described the protest staged by bus owners yesterday as unlawful and are warning bus owners and drivers to abide by the law.
Supervising Deputy Commissioner Operations of Honiara, Ms Gwen Ratu told bus owners and drivers that it was illegal for them to involve in such a protest as there is no permit granted to stage the unnecessary protest.
“This is unlawful and I warn you bus owners and drivers to go back to providing your services to the public of Honiara according to the recent changes approved by the Honiara City Council.
“The changes apply to all buses operating within the city.
“Allow the recently formed Bus Association to deal with whatever issues arising out of the new bus routes with the necessary authorities,” she said.
Ratu warned the bus owners and drivers that police will not tolerate such illegal activities and is prepared to take stern action against anyone who does not listen to the warning.
Speaking to the frustrated bus owners and drivers yesterday, Honiara City Mayor Andrew Mua said the bus business is everybody’s freedom but that its HCC’s right to determine which route buses must follow to improve services in Honiara.
He told bus owners and drivers that HCC is not enforcing a new rule, rather is re-introducing the old laws and bus routes which have existed since the late 90s.
Mua strongly emphasised that bus owners must comply with the law or face the law to find the consequences of disobedience.
He also said bus fares will remain the same, adding, HCC will not accept any increase in bus fares.
Mua said HCC is tightening its laws in effort to improve bus service and other services within Honiara City.