Video: Minister Burch On ATV Proposal Decision

February 12, 2018

The final decision on the ATV proposal for the west end has not been made, Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch said, adding that he finds it “astounding” how “all these people who live nowhere near the issue object to it.”

Back in October 2017, the Ministry of Public Works started a consultation, seeking the public’s comments “regarding a proposed change of the use to the Bermuda Railway Trail Park in the protected areas of Scaur Hill Fort Park and Hog Bay Park.

“The changes to the Railway Trail are in consideration of a proposal for a private entity to conduct all-terrain vehicle or ATV tours throughout the western section of the Bermuda Railway Trail Park – specifically Scaur Hill Fort Park and Hog Bay Park,” they said at that time.

Minister Burch said, “Last week, Thursday I believe, there was chatter on social media that they saw ATVs in Somerset.

“And let me just say that I take some particular offense at people who see things and jump right to the conclusion that they have been misled or lied to.

“The ATVs were brought out last week at my request, because part of my due diligence, unlike all of the people who’ve objected, who’ve never seen the things, never ridden the things, never heard them, is to actually go and test them.

“And so at my request last week Thursday, the Minister of Transport and I went to the west to view the vehicles, to ride the vehicles, to listen to the sound of the vehicles, and to hear from those people that are proposing to bring them in.

“And just to be clear, I was quite impressed that they were brought to the Beacon Hill depot, but I was quite impressed that the proprietors actually went to TCD and got a one day license in which to do so. And had the paperwork to show to us.

“A final decision, has not been made as yet. I do have the whole package now on my desk in terms of the people who have objected.

“I had the most recent letter over the weekend from one of the groups that has already objected, suggesting to me that they hope that I will consider their objections.

“I take offense to that. If I said I’m going to do it, I’m actually going to do it. And so when you say you hope, what you’re saying is that you don’t believe me.

“And so yes, I’ll still take it, I’m irritated, but I’ll still take into consideration all those people who provided an objection, all those people who live within the area.

“And I stick by my position that I enunciated publicly before, that if you live east of White Hill, you don’t get a say in this. You don’t get a say in this.

“I am sick of us being a country of no. We say no to everything and then we ask ‘now what’s the question?’

“It’s not affecting you. You don’t live in the west, so you aren’t going to hear the bikes. It’s astounding to me how all these people who live nowhere near the issue object to it.

“I can tell you that their objections are the same as the 160 odd who live west of White Hill. So their objections will be considered, they just won’t have the weight of having objected to it having any bearing on the decision that’s going to be made.”

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Comments (78)

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  1. wondering says:

    sorry Col but you are way off base on this one………..once you discount a segment of society based on where they live, you have proven your bias beyond the shadow of a doubt.

    that is a condescending attitude and no matter how effective some view you – it is clear that you have powertrip issues that have no place in politics

    • Listen up says:

      Look he’s very effective and the PEOPLE know this, so you can’t dog him there. Col doesn’t beat around the bush like you oba aka UBPers. That’s why they got their A$$ handed to them with a PLP 24 to UBP 12 seat win.

      Sour Milk man only smiled in your face and shock your hand LOL even the cows knew he was not the real farmer.

      The UBPers wasted to much time trying to please one side of Bermuda……….. their selves. When it came to decision they were afraid of the rent a Crowd Crew. You and the other circus performance didn’t vote for Col or PLP and you never will.

      • Mr.KMYA says:

        You sound like Burch. Burch!!

        • JAWS says:

          Sorry to spoil the fun but my friend wrote that and he’s not Burch.

      • Mr.KMYA says:

        People where tired of OBA, that doesn’t mean you PLPers can just mash up the whole country!!! I guarantee you if we had an election tomorrow you would lose.

        Bet Me!!

        • Lol says:

          No they wouldn’t. That’s a complete lie. The island well the majority which that only matters in a democracy is fully behind the Plp. It’s only you UBPOBA ppl on here everyday complaining like you did for 5 years with no real solutions.

      • Paulette says:

        Any time an OBA MP wld hv spoken the way Col Burch speaks PLP supporters wld hv prbly wanted to freak out on them. So damn if they do n damn if they dnt. So sick of politics.

      • Anbu says:

        Again thats all u lot have. A score. Woopie. How about u all shut up and get the hell to work instead pf spending your days creating psudonyms to justify your ignorance via social media. Thats all u plpers are good at huh? Clicking a mouse and keyboard hahahaha. Another bit of info so “listen up” , nobody is scared of you, trust me on that. U wouldnt stand a snowballs chance in hell lmao.

    • Onion Juice says:

      Like America’s Cup, anybody that was outside of Dockyard had no say.

  2. steve says:

    I’m irritated,i am sick of a country of no etc…who cares just do your job and stop talking about yourself.

  3. Izzypop says:

    How funny is he
    We are a country of no then ask the question

    Well no was said about America’s cup
    No to the airport
    No to same sex marriage

    Yup we are a country of no

    • Wow says:

      BUT we all said YES to WEED!

    • Standing Strong says:

      Yes, but it is okay when we in the PLP say NO! because it is for us to decide 24-12!

  4. Mad dog says:

    I live in the west. I use the trails and the parks, walking quietly with my own 2 feet….it’s tranquil, and peaceful…so NO ATVs we have very few places to go for a bit of solitude….and exercise….we are a society of unfit, over weigh people….get off your behinds and WALK

    • Real Deal says:

      i feel you but what about old people? but still i would rather they be electric though.

  5. Micro says:

    ” Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch said, adding that he finds it “astounding” how “all these people who live nowhere near the issue object to it.””

    That should really tell him something, shouldn’t it? But no use objecting is there, seems like it’ll be pushed through regardless of popular public opinion. All this due diligence talk is just fluff to pander to the public.

    • Bill says:

      What about the tourists from Cambridge beaches that use the tracks for walking? So what he is saying since they don’t live here their voice doesn’t matter either.

    • Standing Strong says:

      If you live East of White Hill, you have no say! The minister probably also thinks that you should not get to use the tracks and or Hog Bay Park!

  6. somuchless says:

    Sounds just like Burch Smdh

  7. Warlord2 says:

    Who does birch think he is telling people of Bermud he doesn’t care about our opinions.

  8. campervan says:

    Not living near the issue is SO not the point! This is not a NIMBy issue, this is about stopping the degradation of our Island home. ATV’s should not be tearing up the National Parks, end of. For goodness sake, walk, cycle, jog, commune with nature without spoiling it for everyone else.

  9. Family Man says:

    Hey IB, this is the new government.

    Just gives you that secure, comfortable feeling doesn’t it? NOT.

  10. Ronnie Viera says:

    The job of a Minister requires a degree of tolerance and sometimes it is frustrating but can’t you just say thanks, I got this and will make an informed decision without going on the attack. I appreciate his forthright style but that does not mean that he has to take such an intolerant position.

  11. J R Smith says:

    This man acting like a diva. He must’ve forgotten acting like that is not a good thing.

  12. Clarity says:

    The issue is the parks. No one lives in the parks. We all visit the trail and the parks. This is a tiny island. Why be a bully?

  13. Roger Lambert says:

    I DON’T AGREE with Minister Burch on NOT having any say if living east of White Hill & just those living West of White Hill. MANY FROM AROUND THE ISLAND use the Railway Trails & Both Parks mentioned. Maybe a higher percentage than those who use it that actually stay in Sandys Parish. God help Us.

  14. Mr.KMYA says:

    So fool is irritated at what? People’s concerns?. Let me start off by saying this, you have your position because of the people. All I see is you so called (politicians) looking after each others interests and not the people. So who has the perfect opportunity to rake in millions because of this? Not the people, just your friends!! Who foots the bill when the railway gets torn up? I am tired of you!! Really an truly. The rest of you need to take your head (lord knows where it is) out and see whats happening to my island. It sad, so sad.

    A Real Bermudian, born in the 70′s and seen where we have come from to where we are going. It Hurts!!

  15. Rasta says:

    Burch pass the ATV tours the tourist will ride them the the locals will love them. The NO people on here all voted oba and they don’t give a rats tail what you think!

    They only want the MIGHTY oba to RETURN LMAO. I remember reading a article were Bermuda status Fahyyyy was saying that they lost because the party was afraid to do anything. So please do it.

  16. Reality Check says:

    Minister Burch deserves credit for properly investigating this matter . He is right on the money that Bermuda has too long been a culture of “no ” and then ask questions later .

  17. No nonsense! says:

    There has to be a happy medium. We need to have activities for tourists and we need to respect the residents. It seems like the good Colonel is trying to balance both. He doesn’t sugar coat and personally, his upfront say it like it is style, makes me chuckle. Whether it is the garbage or the ATV’s, he seems to get to the bottom of the issue, he thinks logically and isn’t scared to make a decision.

  18. Lucy says:

    I might live east of White Hill, but that does not mean I live “nowhere near”. This is a small island. We all live near. We have very few areas left in Bermuda that don’t have houses or roads on them. The Railway Trail is one of the few quiet spots where people can walk safely without motorized traffic and enjoy some peace and quiet. We objected because we care about preserving a pleasant environment to live in, not because we are a country of no.

  19. Warwick West says:

    How dare he imply that only those close to the park have a voice! This is public land for ALL to use not just for those in the area. Add insult to injury with Bermuda being only 20 odd miles and we don’t have a say of what goes on in those 20 miles? Outrageous. Bermuda’s public lands belong to all of us . The island is too small to be think what happens in one end does not affect the other. Absolute nonsense.

    Perhaps the stink of trash island wide has affected him no matter what end of the island he is in.

  20. Oh,I see now says:

    Next we will have gaudy neon signs in town ,I don’t live there but I sure don’t want to be subject to it.As a BORN BERMUDIAN it doesn’t matter where the hell I live, what goes on in this country affects all of us.

  21. flash says:

    What does living near the park have anything to do with this? We ALL have an opinion. That was pretty ignorant to say that. Also I’m a PLP voter and I live east and I use those parks and say no to this bad atv idea. So according to some comments here… Because I say no means that I should be an OBA voter??? Why??? I just don’t want those annoying machines in my peaceful parks. I’ve had to deal with scramblers all over my neighborhood and hate them…… and now gotta deal with ATVs in those trails….. can’t catch a peaceful break on this island.

    • Standing Strong says:

      It was only OBA objectors to this. PLP people support this despite what you NO OBA’ers say! Right on Minister, shoe those people who is the boss!

      • Real Deal says:

        nah I am PLP and i had some objections but after looking up the atvs in question on youtube i feel a little bit better. just have the people running the tour adopt the tour area. if it gets out of hand then make them take responsibility.

        and they should set up a test tour with the people that object so that they can see what the vibe of the tour is.

  22. Zevon says:

    It’s funny how he had no problem with the people objecting to ssm when it had no effect on their lives.
    Yet when it comes to railway trails the only opinions that matter are the people who live on the trails.

  23. facts of the rock says:

    Colonel is sounding more like a nagging old person every time he opens his big mouth.

  24. Um Um Like says:

    OK, so if you live in the west you have no say on the airport, or on the hotel in St Joe.

    Burch, you’re a fool. This is a national park. It’s for the benefit of all residents, regardless of where they live! You think a politician would understand such a basic concept!

  25. Helo says:

    You know he will approve them……they are already here. What will he make them do if he says no, send them back? You know PLP has a steak in this….how did they get here in the first place? That’s the only reason he is only taking 160 objections into consideration.

    • Decision has already been made! says:

      The person who will be running these things is a strong PLP supporter so of course Burt will say yes!

    • Warrior says:

      He gave his approval when he started the engine

  26. HOT NUTZ says:

    Ok so lets now use the ATVS as buses along that route, cause we hear NOTHING from the transport minister, he was going to save the world prior to the lection, now he’s a phantom.

  27. Bailey's Bay says:

    He was “impressed” that the would be operators of these atv’s went to TCD and obtained one day passes for them to be used on the roads for purposes of demonstrating to him and one of his colleagues?
    Come on!
    It’s the LAW that these vehicles be licensed for use in public!
    So Burch was “impressed someone managed to follow the law?
    That’s a pretty low bar, doesn’t give this citizen much comfort that this is a rigorous investigation of the merits/demerits of this proposed business proposing to use a public asset to make a profit.
    And Burch, one more thing? You work for all the citizens, not just the ones west of White Hill, so listen up. That’s what your job is, listening respectfully to the citizens, wherever they may live

  28. Coconuts says:

    Not only is Burch arrogant, he is on a power trip. If we are going to use his logic that people in the east don’t get a vote because it doesn’t affect them, 1) then gay and lesbian people should be the only ones who get a vote on SSM because THEY are the only ones being affected and 2) who should care about gang violence because it doesn’t happen in my neighborhood?

    The overwhelming majority of Bermudians voted NO for ATVs: you can’t ignore that unless there is an ulterior motive (wonder who is behind this scheme?).
    Let ATVs on the island and it will be no time before they get the permits and permission to head east. It reminds me of the days when you could smoke in the back of the airplane: and we forgot that those in the front had to breathe the same air.

    I walk ALL the railway trails because it is a way for me and my family to enjoy the beauty of the whole island. Next thing you know, we’ll need passports to travel between Parishes.

  29. Rear Admiral says:

    This reminds me of the seen from Jaws, He’s Baaack !

  30. BDAGIRL says:

    Minister Burch I might not live near White Hill but I walk the trails and parks all over BDA. We need to find another place for the ATV’s like down Clear Water So if we don’t live near something that effects us we don’t get a say!!! You need to take that statement back. Very unfair to us who pay our taxes and live by the law of this land. Waiting to see who owns the ATV’s then I am sure we will see the clearer picture.

  31. Nope…he doesn’t beat around a bush…that would be out of character…I’ve seen that on the internet…and…well….I just don’t see him doing that…

  32. Lol says:

    Everything bad blame the Plp. Everything good it’s the UBPOBA. When ya ‘one type’ you are always right. I almost forgot…

  33. No CHance says:

    I live near them. And I object. I dont think you are listening to me, or anyone else who lives near them. The scramblers on the railway trail for the last 6 months is bad enough.

  34. Rocky5 says:

    Pick your battles Bermuda and don’t sweat the small stuff! This NIMBY syndrome reminds me of the old UBP when they fought against JET SKIS for YEARS while our competition was quick to embrace them!! YOU all should be marching in support of our minority LGBT Bermudians who have just had their rights taken away as this is WAY MORE IMPORTANT than some properly regulated ATVs!!

  35. Jenna Talia says:

    No no no…ski lift…monorail slow and quiet.

  36. Hubert Watlington says:

    How about a little comprising Col. There are good quality long lasting electric ATVs around now, that are not nearly as offensive as gas ones, that would keep the noise down. Perhaps have a few restrictions so these things, don’t mash up the countryside, stay on the railway. Get off and walk when in any park. It’s good to get a little exercise.
    Now that’s a little more positive.

  37. Michael Swan says:

    If no one east of White Hill has a say then perhaps Mr Burch has no say either. He is not from Somerset. I am Somerset born and raised. I now live in Southampton but my family live in Somerset including my mother who lives close to the railway trail. Lots of ppl are Somerset born and raised and now live in other parts of the island. Lots of people from all over the island come to Somerset and use the trail and parks for quiet relaxation. We have enough noise pollution on our public roads … now we will have it in parks and open spaces.
    I am totally against this idea in this area. If the vehicles were perhaps electric bikes like the ones sold at Mangrove bay or Electric ATV’s then perhaps this idea might be a bit more palatable. To be touring green open parkland w gas guzzling, noise and smoke spewing, ground tearing ATV’s is just a plan to destroy some of Bermuda’s last remaining natural beauty.
    Find an area that does not intrude on ppls neighbourhoods and quiet space.

  38. Double S says:

    Going off of Mr. Burch’s logic, then straight people should have no say in SSM rights.

    Or, anyone who lives west of teh causeway should have no say in the airport development or the new hotel being constructed near Fort St. Catherines.

  39. Jus' Wonderin' says:

    “The ATVs were brought out last week at my request, because part of my due diligence, unlike all of the people who’ve objected, who’ve never seen the things, never ridden the things, never heard them, is to actually go and test them.”

    But WHY TF are they here if you’ve haven’t signed off on them yet?!??!?

    • Real Deal says:

      ATVs are not restricted what is restricted is the use of them on the trails. a lot of our visitors are over weight. i think electric is the compromise we need. bring the gas ones to st Davis and limit them to the road. Rent them out at the number 1 gate. i feel said when i see visitors walking to clear water cause buses don’t run like that

  40. Yummy says:

    What an awesome idea! touring the the Railway Trails on ATVs, it would be a great way for visitors to see the Island off the beaten path, something more and more visitors are looking to explore. I’ve ridden these on a few Islands in the Caribbean and its a fun thing to do. Mind you, I don’t think the experience would be quite the same in Bermuda, as the Company proposing the experience, would most likely have restricts up the yin yang, in typical Bermudian fashion, to anything that’s old, but new to us. Hope its allowed here and Island wide, so that any possible burden isn’t just on West enders.

  41. Triangle Drifter says:

    OMG! If I did not know who he is or where he is I’d think it was none other than Trump talking. Unbelievable arrogance.

    You voters got what you voted for. You knew his temperment from before. If you had a house that was rented to IB & the rent dropped drastically or still sits empty you know who to blame, yet you voted for the people who did it again.

    Did you expect different in PLP version 2? Any voters remorse yet?

    • Anbu says:

      Nope because unfortunately they all share the same brainwaves. Stupid is as stupid does

  42. Real Deal says:

    i think what the problem is. is that people think that the atvs are going to be racing up and down the trails but i dont think this is how the tours will be setup correct me if i am wrong and the atvs do have speed limiters

  43. Mark says:

    What a lunatic. When some kid or person gets hit sue Burch and the Govt.

  44. campervan says:

    He’s Baaaaack :-)
    The Col telling you like it is. Just like he did a few years back when half of IB upped and left and the price of Bermudians homes went through the floor.

    For someone who does’t care what people think he seems very touchy.

  45. St Georges Man says:

    Somerset is my country!

  46. puzzled says:

    Um gonna start putin up a Toll Booth outside my gate because yoo lot dun hall leeve in Pedget.
    Detz rire ..

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      I’ll put one up in Devonshire. Nah, how you west people gonna get to tawn & how you gonna get to the errport?

  47. Seriously? says:

    Mr. Burt… our Premier… upon taking office you stated the PLP Govt. was committed to being a Govt. for ALL Bermudians! At this moment I am going to ask you… Having SSM Repealed.. was that something for ALL Bermudians?? (There LGBTQ Bermudians… you may be shocked to learn) And now, your Minister of W&E has publically stated that the objections of those that live east of White Hill Field will not carry any weight in his decision re: the ATVs. So all of us living east of White Hill Field are not BERMUDIANS? You stomped the proverbial ground the other day over the SSM Repeal stating that it was in your platform. So was being a Govt. for ALL BERMUDIANS!!!! I suggest you start sticking to that one! (Unless of course you really dind’t mean ALL Bermudians)

  48. JAWS says:

    Ok so I just finished reading every blogger. Whats real sad is people comment more on here than allowing Gay marriage in Bermuda.

    Unfrocking believable.

  49. Justsaying says:

    You will never find progress in backward thinkers. I can almost guarantee that many of the people making remarks drive a vehical that was deemed oversized just a few years ago Or ride a 125 or 150cc. You have to remember progress lives outside the box not in it.