The month of April 2019 rolled in with word that the grandstand at the National Sports Centre was in for a million dollar facelift. Four days into the fourth month of last year, a 48-year-old groundsman suffered severe hand injuries when several of his fingers were severed in an early morning industrial accident. It was also the month Bermuda Real disclosed that the new public bus schedules proposed rosters with no bathroom breaks, 7.5 hours of straight driving that presented major health and safety issues for the island’s bus operators. Needless to say at the end of the day that hair brain scheme was scrapped! On April 15, 2019, Bermuda recorded another road traffic fatality which claimed the life of a young man who died when his motorcycle was involved with a head-on collision with a police car. Ten months later – still no word on the outcome of the investigation into the circumstances of that fatal accident, involving a female police officer who was driving the police car.

News Release: Hamilton, Bermuda, April 3, 2019 – Members of the public will have limited access to the grandstand at the National Sports Centre as it undergoes remediation work.

One million dollars has been to the project which is being overseen by the NSC’s Board of Trustees and which is due to finish in August.

The work involves power washing, sandblasting, painting, and replacing all parts relating to the integrity of the steel roof truss members and is being carried out by Bermudian firm Sunrise Construction.

Craig Tyrell, Operations Manager said: ““This is quite extensive work and will give the grandstand, which was originally built in 2002, a much-needed facelift to ensure it continues to be a fantastic facility for the community.”

A 48-year-old groundsman suffered severe hand injuries in an industrial accident shortly after 7am this morning (April 4) at the Port Royal golf course in Southampton.
The unfortunate incident occurred while he was “operating a tractor style mower, when he placed his hand inside of the machine attempting to remove some debris”.
“As a result, several fingers were severed from his left hand. The man was conveyed to KEMH via ambulance and is currently being treated for his injuries, which are not believed to be life threatening.”

On the eve of what looks set to be another record breaking cruise ship season, with more passengers scheduled to arrive here than ever before, public transportation officials may soon find themselves faced with unprecedented health and safety issues at the height of a list of pressing concerns, held by unionised bus operators.

The first two cruise ships due to arrive King’s Wharf in Dockyard arrives on Friday, (April 5), with the second ship due in at the west end port on Saturday.

As quiet as its kept, Bermuda Real can disclose tonight that bus operators met this week to discuss the new bus schedule, now on trial for its first test run, with 80 rosters and less buses, particularly as it relates to west end commuters.

Topping their list of concerns, is the fact that several rosters do not allow any time for drivers to relieve themselves and the rosters for general orders see operators driving for 7.5 hours straight, with no break.

One driver complained that it was as if they were expected to no longer have kidneys.

Bermuda Real also understands that they plan to meet with the Health & Safety representatives responsible for Government employees, to have these matters addressed.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, another driver said if it comes down to using the bathroom or running late “it’s a no-brainer”.

Others questioned a 7.5-hour schedule of straight driving with no real break for anything. The health concerns for operators who are also diabetic could have serious ramifications.

Drivers also anticipate serious backups and backlogs due to removal of the bus routes that serviced Barnes Corner and Grotto Bay. Those buses traditionally used to pick up the slack, so to speak, or the overflow.

This year will see unprecedented demand for lift out of Dockyard for the anticipated 68,000 cruise ship visitors expected this season, with a total of 192 calls to Bermuda.

Projections say that translates into an estimated 544,000 passengers on our shores this season, marking a 14 percent increase over the figure recorded in 2018, which is expected to generate $7.9 million in tax revenue and increase visitor spending, which is great for Bermuda’s economy.

But what about those public transportation horror stories, especially the one about the bus that never showed up, or the countless tourists left stranded waiting for a bus at Horseshoe Bay?

What about our west end residents – the ones who this year, will stand at bus stops for the 18th year and watch buses filled to capacity right out of Dockyard drive straight past them?

From where Mr & Mrs Resident bus commuters sit – it would appear that too will be all on them.

Taxpayers will be left holding the bag again – still paying , still waiting to see how this test run is going to work and most likely, still waiting for a bus service that pays no service to them for 18 cruise ship seasons.

Rest assured it’s going to be interesting to say the least! And once again, here we go once AGAIN!

Residents who stood firm against Bermuda Tourism Authority plans to include Shelly Bay Beach in the National Tourism Plan, will have another chance to have their say on the plan coming out of their objections to make the popular neighourhood beach accessible for the disabled.

Members of the public are urged to attend a town hall meeting hosted by the Ministry of Public Works this Thursday, April 11th at Francis Patton gymnasium 11 at 6:30pm.

Ministry representatives will be on hand to present “the proposed plans for the addition of accessible facilities for seniors and the disabled at Shelly Bay Beach”.

“The Ministry will also share with attendees proposed plans for a small concession area in the Shelly Bay park.”

The Ministry is also “keen to ensure that any proposed additions or enhancements to the Shelly Bay Park area receive public input”.

Public Works Minister Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch will be there with other Government MPs from the surrounding constituencies “to address any queries from area residents and interested members of the public”.