The Ministry of Public Works is seeking public feedback on the proposed use of parts of Bermuda’s Railway Trails in the protected areas of Scaur Hill Fort Park and Hog Bay Park, for a private entity to conduct ATV tours.
But already, the mere call for proposals has generated a slew of criticism, in a groundswell of uninvited public feedback, citing disapproval with little approval on social media.
Reasons for the objections cited range from those who feel it’s unnecessary to ride ATVs through the tracks, with some questioning why not stick to mountain bike tours as opposed to ATVs with engine;, to suggestions that the plan smells like another “friends and family done deal using public land and most likely using it for free”.
Another blogger asked: “Where is the Sandys Parish Council on this? This is a lot to give up by the people of Sandys for one or two men’s greed!”
Others cited environmental concerns with one blogger saying: “ATVs are a scourge to the natural beauty of the island!” Another critic suggested electric ATVs, but also expressed concerns about the environmental impact, including the impact of noise on surrounding neighbourhoods, and the issue of privacy.
From a vehicular point of view, another blogger suggested “fat tire [sic] bicycles with electric assist for less capable adventurers would be a better fit”.
In a statement released yesterday, a Ministry spokesperson said: “The Government of Bermuda is committed to ensuring that it provides opportunities for residents to share their feedback on matters of importance that affect them.
“In that regard, the Ministry of Public Works is currently seeking the public’s submissions/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.”
A visual display of the proposal can be found on the Government Portal and will also be available for viewing from 10am to 4pm, today, through to Tuesday, November 14th, at the Department of Parks, on the lower level of Global House on Church Street in Hamilton.
Members of the public were also invited to submit their comments in writing to the Parks Department by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail directly to the Department of Parks, PO Box HM20, Hamilton HMAX, before 4pm Tuesday, November 14th.
Interested residents can also provide their submissions in person by visiting the Parks Department’s main office, on the ground floor at Global House, on Church Street, where forms will be available to fill out, and schematics of the proposed trail changes will be on display in their main lobby for review and consideration.
Schematics of the proposed trail changes will be on display from 10am to 4pm today, through to Tuesday, November 14th.
- Photo Courtesy of Aiesha Bulford: Photos of Bermuda Facebook Page