Plans to use quad bikes in Bermuda’s parks and on the Railway Trail need an impact assessment, environmental watchdogs said yesterday.

The Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Task Force warned that environmental, economic and social factors had to be examined to avoid “unintended consequences” of allowing commercial operators to use all- terrain vehicles in these areas.

The call from the charity came after West End residents and environmentalists questioned plans, approved by former OBA environment minister Sylvan Richards, to introduce ATV tours to the Railway Trail in Somerset.

BEST said the proposal “raises troublesome issues” and called for the scheme to be “thought through thoroughly”.

The group added: “Consultation with the public and railway right of way defenders is a must so that we don’t find down the road that we have taken another step harming Bermudians, offending and turning off bread-and-butter tourists and furthering injury and death.

“BEST calls for an environmental, economic, and social impact assessment so that we are truly informed and know what we are doing, thus avoiding unintended consequences.”

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