Scott retables bill guided tours by three-wheelers in parks
Government has re-tabled legislation to expand options for tour operators to undo amendments put forward by the Opposition and approved by the Senate.
Lawrence Scott, the Minister of Transport, this morning tabled the Motor Cars (Livery) Amendment Act 2022, which is identical to a 2021 amendment approved in the House of Assembly last year to expand the types of vehicles that could be used on guided tours.
He said the bill was tabled because a clause put forward by the One Bermuda Alliance in the Senate and approved by Opposition and Independent Senators last year would have hurt taxis.
Mr Scott said the clause – which would ban guided vehicle tours in public parks on the basis of safety and environmental concerns – would have blocked taxi drivers from the island’s parks.
He said: “Public service vehicles, taxis, limousines, and minibuses, take our visitors on tours that drive through and stop for a visit to our National Parks.
“Our visitors experience flora, forts, beaches, historical artefacts, and the like.
“It is most unfortunate that the Opposition put forward a proposal that is discriminatory towards guided tour vehicles effectively rendering the service pointless, as they would not have access to the areas we most want to showcase and visitors come to Bermuda to see.”
Since the amended Bill was passed by the Senate last December, Mr Scott said the Ministry of Transport has met with members of the Senate, environmental agencies, and members of the public to answer questions and address concerns about the legislation.
He added that restrictions are in place for vehicles in public parks, and the legislation specifies that tour vehicles would only be able to operate on agreed routes.
Mr Scott said that protected areas like sand dunes and beaches will continue to be safeguarded.
“The Ministry of Transport strives to provide an environment where job creation and entrepreneurship in the transportation industry is favourable,” he said.
“I look forward to progressing the Bill since the Ministry is aware of an entrepreneur who is eager to operate a guided tour operation and waiting for the statutory changes so that their type of vehicle would be permitted to be licensed as a guided tour vehicle.”
Mr Scott said only one application to offer such tours had been made, that being for someone who sought to operate three-wheeled vehicles popular in Asia known as tuk tuks.
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