Group Welcomes Public Consultation On ATVs

November 6, 2017 | 15 Comments

The group Take Back Our Park [TBOP] has welcomed Government’s decision to hold public consultation on the use of all-terrain vehicles [ATVs] on parkland.

The group said, “Sylvan Richards, the former OBA Environment Minister, had approved plans to use ATVs in Scaur Hill Fort Park and Hog Bay Park, as well as on part of the Railway Trail in Somerset. The new Government put the plan on hold and ordered that the issue should go out to consultation.”

A spokesperson for TBOP said: “The plan goes against the clear spirit of the Parks Act, which is to preserve the peaceful enjoyment of our parks.

“As far as we are concerned if this happens, it would represent the thin edge of the wedge, opening up the possibility for similar activities and the use of motorized vehicles in other beaches and parks.

“We are not against people enjoying new experiences nor are we against people setting up a new business, but we have to show compassion for our surroundings.

“We have to strike the right balance. We must make sure that these new activities are sustainable in that they do not negatively impact the Island’s natural resources, and are in keeping with Bermuda’s character.

‘Also, the business owners should not be able to profit by exploiting the use of public lands, to the detriment of all the other Bermudians who use them.”

The spokesperson added: “We would urge people to make sure their voices are heard and to respond with an overwhelming ‘no’ during this consultation.”

TBOP said that Bermuda’s national parks comprised the Island’s only open space and were there for “everyone to enjoy”.

They said ATVs are causing problems in areas such as Long Island, Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket and Cape Hatteras. A large group of scientists are pushing for a ban of ATVs in the parklands in Alberta, Canada, according to TBOP.

And TBOP pointed to the recent Throne Speech, which said: “As a further commitment to ensure Bermuda’s future generations can also enjoy our dwindling amount of unspoiled beauty, the Government will identify the open spaces that must be protected for generations to come. Legislation will be introduced to take this protection beyond ministerial discretion.”

“While we welcome the consultation, ultimately, if Government is going to be true to what it said in the Throne Speech, which sets out it legislative commitments, it must act on this issue and reconsider this decision,” said the spokesperson.

Comments can be made here or here.

The Proposed Change of Use to the Bermuda Railway Trail Park, Scaur Hill Fort Park and Hog Bay Park follow below [PDF here]:

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Comments (15)

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  1. Bda$$ says:

    Why every time sometimes new comes out it’s people always complaining about dumb s**t. Let’s get more activities on the island.

    • PLP all the way, all the way PLP says:

      Yes let’s have this new experience but not in the parks or railway trails!

  2. e. gamble says:

    Take Back Our Park(s), please start a Petition for your cause.
    Thank you.

  3. Triangle Drifter says:

    How did this wakky proposal get so far? The former Minister should have nipped it in the bud. The current Minister is no better by letting it continue while so many important issues need the public’s attention.

    • ramblings says:

      The western Railway Trail is probably the only safe refuge where parents can take their kids to walk, learn to ride. Where tourists can take a quite walk… really its a beautiful and QUIET. There is absolutely no need for these ATV’s… and really who is going to keep these 150cc machines to the 10mph requirement? and a question.. Heydon Trust is private property, has the trust given permission for this (I seriously doubt it)

      • PLP all the way, all the way PLP says:

        The plan as proposed is flawed all around. Say NO to using the railway trail and parks.

  4. Y-Gurl says:

    Tourists can rent them…we want them

  5. Slipnut says:

    Funny thing is everyone wants change yet no one wants to change. We should be able to provide all sorts of activities even some we don’t personally enjoy. Let the private sector perpetuate and have the Government regulate. We have seen and still observe when Governments cross the line into the Private sector no one wins. Sometimes we need to come out of our comfort zone in order to progress.

  6. Peace says:

    But i cant ride my dirt bike, go ped, offroad go kart, or electric scooter without being harrassed by d man. I guess i gotta b a foreigna to b llowed inna

  7. I SUPPORT ATV's says:

    We need change!!!!!!ATV’s at 10mph isn’t a big deal when you compare the speed of the new 2 seaters Hamilton Princess rents to their guest. These ATV’s will bring a change and addition to tourist finding better ways to view our trails in the western locations. It has been approved by the previous government (Slyvan Richards)and therefore it’s a business that can bring more positive light to the area. We need the island to have change and innovative ideas therefore this ATV business will be ideal.

    STOP bickering about a trail that already is in use by vehicles that go way more then 10mph…They aren’t causing ANY HARM WHATSOEVER.

    To the brainchild behind the ATV idea…I SUPPORT YOU 100%…Stick to your plan. They will get over it if not to bad.

    • ATVs must RIP says:

      Anyone who thinks ATVs belong in Bermuda should get their head checked. There’s no space for off-road in Bermuda. Our parks are precious because they are quiet, undeveloped, open spaces used by many bermudians. The noise, erosion and pollution these vehicles would create would destroy the sanctity of our Parks. All you people who say Bermuda needs new experiences need to realise we cannot be everything to everyone. I really really can’t believe this idea is even being considered. Absolutely shocking. Common sense has really gone on holiday.

  8. Tony T says:

    Hog Bay is already being ripped up by 150cc Dirt Bikes so imagine what the ATV’s will do to our parks do the maths.

  9. Bully Beef says:

    I am for the ATVs. They need to be electric and only allowed during specific weekday hours. We need to focus on tourism and making money from this sector as the Paradise Papers may spell problem in the IB sector.

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