Updated: May 20, 2022 11:34 PM
Sessions House (file photo)
Tour legislation returned to the House of Assembly yesterday after being blocked in the Senate last year over fears that national parks could be damaged.
The Motor Car (Liveries) Amendment Act 2022, introduced by Transport Minister Lawrence Scott, has again faced opposition concerns over its potential impact on the environment.
Mr Scott insisted the law would preserve the environment while creating jobs for entrepreneurs and attractions for visitors.
Susan Jackson, the Shadow Transport Minister, told MPs there needed to be a ‘thorough examination of what could be’ to expand the scope of vehicles to be used on tours and what effect they could have on the natural environment of the island.
Jamahl Simmons of the Progressive Labor Party accused the opposition of not reading the legislation properly before opposing it.
He said the law aims to broaden the types of vehicles to be used on a guided tour, introduce a penalty for driving a guided tour vehicle without a license and change references to “tour quadricycles” in the law in a “guided tour vehicle”. .
The legislation remained unchanged after he returned from the Upper House, he noted.
Mr Simmons said the delay meant “a wasted year” for three- and four-wheeler operators to run tours.
He stressed that the vehicles were ‘not all-terrain vehicles and could only be operated on paved surfaces like roads’ – and could not encroach on protected areas.
“If a year ago the opposition did not read the legislation, did not understand the legislation or perhaps misrepresented the intent of this bill, then they owe an apology to all of Bermuda,” Mr. Simmons said.
The debate ended with the adoption of the legislation.