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Two people back ATV plan

Only two people have backed a controversial plan for ATV tours in the West End, while more than 400 are opposed to it, the Minister of Public Works said yesterday.

The news came in a response by Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch to parliamentary questions from One Bermuda Alliance MP Sylvan Richards.

Mr Richards asked how many people had responded to a request for comment on the proposed scheme to conduct tours along the Railway Trail and protected areas in Sandys.

Residents, farmers and environmental groups attacked the plan last year.

Colonel Burch said that 368 responses were submitted by e-mail, with six duplicates.

He added that 268 responses were submitted in writing.

Colonel Burch said, of those, 91 came from people outside the West End and 135 came from unknown people or unknown addresses.

One letter from Toronto and one letter from Connecticut were also received.

Colonel Burch said that 40 of the written responses came from Somerset residents.

He added: “So the total is 40.”

Colonel Burch said that there were 402 responses opposed to the proposal.

The answer sparked a question from Grant Gibbons, the shadow economic development minister, who asked for a breakdown of the 402 responses opposed to the plan.

Dr Gibbons asked: “Were those Sandys residents? Or was that the entire group of those who opposed?”

Colonel Burch replied: “The 368 responses that came via e-mail cannot be identified as to where they live, in most cases.

“So all of them were included.

“The 40 who are Sandys residents, from written responses, are those that were included.”

Mr Richards also asked about the engine size, and the noise level produced by the vehicles.

Colonel Burch said: “The engine capacity is 150 cubic centimetres.

“The noise level is 82 decibels — slightly less than a lawnmower — that is 90 decibels.”

Colonel Burch said he had “no clue” if the 82 decibel level reading was for the vehicle at rest or operating at a particular speed.

Dr Gibbons also asked about the top speed of the vehicles.

Colonel Burch responded: “I don't have the answer for that question either.

“But I undertake to get it.”

He said that there were six of the quad bikes on the island.

Colonel Burt said earlier this month that island residents living east of White Hill “don't get a say” on the proposed tour plan.

He told MPs: “There would have been three that responded in favour had my vote been considered.

“But I live east of White Hill.”

Rudolph “Buddy” Hollis, one of the men behind the plan, told The Royal Gazette last week that “input from people from all over the island is significant”.

Shane Hollis, owner of the new ATV tours (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published February 27, 2018 at 8:00 am (Updated February 27, 2018 at 7:18 am)

Two people back ATV plan

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