Tuk tuk tours plan stalled by senators
An entrepreneur keen to get his guided tour vehicle business on the road will have to wait after senators blocked key legislation.
Kevin Burrows said he had waited 18 months for the three-wheeled tour vehicles, called tuk tuks and used as taxis in Asia, to get approval.
He was speaking after the Upper House sent the Motor Car (Liveries) Act back to the House of Assembly with an amendment designed to ban tour vehicles from national parks.
Opposition and Independent senators united to add the amendment by six votes to five.
But Mr Burrows, who said he had never been consulted on the legislation, said he “never been any intention of going into parks – my vehicles are not built for that”.
He added: “I bought these to the island for guided tours, employing eight Bermudians and more depending on what comes.
“I’ve been waiting for this since April 2020 while these bikes have been sitting in my garage.
“I just want to feed my family and provide a service, not only for tourists but locals.”
MPs will return to the House next month, but Mr Burrows said he had no idea how long it would take for the guided tours legislation to be reviewed.
He added that the tuk tuks proved popular last year after he got special permission to use them around St George’s as part of a Bermuda Tourism Authority trip for travel agents.
Mr Burrows said: “They loved it.”
Tuk-tuks can carry up to six passengers, but Mr Burrows said his would only be allowed to take two at a time, with helmets and seatbelts.
He said he was “in complete agreement” that the national parks had to be protected.
Mr Burrows added: “I waited 18 months to get this far – I can hang on a couple more.
“But no one came to see me. If you want to know something, come to the source and find out what’s really going on.”
Mr Burrows said he was disappointed by the fresh delay, but that he still eager to get the tuk-tuks rolling.
He added: “We need this sort of service in Bermuda, something to bring liveliness back to the island.”