More traffic control at Dockyard
Powers to control traffic including taxis and minibuses are expected to be granted to West End Development Corporation workers with legislation passed by MPs.
Zane DeSilva, the Minister of Tourism and Transport, told the House of Assembly on Friday that Dockyard can become chaotic when thousands of cruise ship passengers disembark.
He said that the West End Development Corporation (Traffic Officers) Amendment Act 2019 was designed to allow the corporation’s traffic officers to enforce “moving violations and parking infractions”.
Mr DeSilva explained: “In recent years our cruise ship partners have reported passenger dissatisfaction in transportation at Bermuda’s cruise ship ports, especially at Dockyard when two or more ships are in port.
“There is a ground transportation area at the port where taxis, minibuses and limousines ply for business, pre-arranged tours and beach shuttles.
“Wedco has only three traffic co-ordinators who manage the area and facilitate the safe and efficient movement of passengers.
“They interact with operators of the public service vehicles and passengers, who they direct to relevant transport options.
“They also monitor and manage the flow of traffic through the area and at a nearby staging area for overflow vehicles.
“Although the ground transportation area is suitably appointed with proper signage, the area tends to get a bit chaotic when there are thousands of visitors trying to move at the same time and public service vehicle operators are vying for customers.”
Mr DeSilva said that until last year up to four Transport Control Department traffic officers went to Dockyard daily when cruise ships were in port.
But in 2018, TCD redeployed its resources and this year its traffic officers have assisted Wedco only when at least five ships were docked.
Mr DeSilva added: “The main objective of this Bill is to appoint traffic officers who have the same powers as TCD traffic officers to control traffic and deter illegal parking.”
Leah Scott, the One Bermuda Alliance deputy leader, said the Opposition had no objection to the legislation.
She sought information from the minister about a planned traffic analysis at Dockyard which was “supposed to be ready in July of 2019”.
Mr DeSilva replied that he would check on its status.
MPs also passed the Superyachts and Other Vessels (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2019, which related to transit and cruising permits, and would classify the crew of superyachts under charter as “special category persons” in the Bermuda Immigration and Protection Act 1956.
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