MPs urged to vote against quad bike use

  • New legislation: quad bike tours set to be given green light (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

    New legislation: quad bike tours set to be given green light (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Conservation groups have vowed to continue their fight against proposals for quad bike tours on the Railway Trail.

They were speaking as the House of Assembly prepares to debate an amendment to the law to allow the tours to go ahead.

Bill Zuill, the executive director of the Bermuda National Trust, said the group was “disappointed” to see the Government go ahead with legislation and urged MPs to vote against the change.

He added environmental groups had protested against the use of the Railway Trail, Fort Scaur and Hog Bay Park, in contravention of the National Parks Act which “expressly forbids the use of vehicles in National Parks”.

Mr Zuill said a petition against the tours had attracted “hundreds” of signatures.

He added: “We believe that Bermuda’s parks are for the peaceful enjoyment of the public and these ATV tours will shatter that peace and tranquility.

“While we support innovative tourism ideas and agree that Bermuda’s environment is an asset to be shared with our visitors, this proposal is not the answer.

“We are also concerned that this will set a precedent for similar tours throughout the island, again using Bermuda’s Railway Trail and other national parks.

“We call on Bermuda’s legislators to oppose this legislation and not to ignore the mass of public opinion who took the trouble to submit objections in the belief that they would get a hearing.”

The Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Task Force has filed an application for a judicial review into the proposal.

BEST’s application to the Supreme Court, dated July 12, named Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the Minister of Public Works, along with Rudolph Hollis, one of the backers of the venture.

Colonel Burch has defended the plan for the all-terrain vehicles to be used for “guided educational tours” on the trail and other protected areas at the West End.

The proposal got 402 strikes against it in a public survey revealed in February of this year, while only two votes were said to be in favour.

The Motor Car Amendment (No 2) (Tour Quadricycles) Bill 2018 will permit licensed quad cycle rental schemes, as well as amend the definition of a motorcycle to include three-wheeled vehicles.

A maximum of seven ATVs, including a guide, would be permitted for a tour.

The machines would have a maximum engine size of 150cc.

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Published Jul 19, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated Jul 19, 2018 at 10:31 am)

MPs urged to vote against quad bike use

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