Berbice River taxis time change… no moves yet to further reduceBerbice Bridge tollsBerbice taxi drivers can expect some relief after Junior Public Infrastructure Minister Annette Ferguson pledged to meet with them to address their concerns over the amended operating hours of the water taxies.Hire car drivers picketing the T&HD office in NAFrom September 1, the speedboat service began operating from 06:00h until 09:00h and then again from 14:30h until 18:00h. Previously, the service operated between 06:00h and 18:00h.The taxi drivers, operating from the New Amsterdam Ferry Stelling, have complained that the change in the operating hours will severely affect their trade since it will limit the frequency of passengers who normally utilise their services after disembarking the boats.Minister Ferguson told a recent news conference that she intends to address these concerns to ensure everyone “enjoys a piece of the pie”.“In the past, we have received complaints from minibus operators about not getting a share in the pie because of the timings. So we took a conscious decision to have the timings rescheduled,” she explained, noting that the move to reschedule the operating hours was done to facilitate the bus drivers.But now, taxi drivers seem to be affected by this shift.“They are now complaining of now being able to get a daily bread. So I am expected to meet with them so we can have that addressed,” she stated.Nonetheless, the Minister indicated that the hire car operators are just being difficult since they had previously operated under similar circumstances without complaint.“Prior to the river taxies coming into operations, the Transport and Harbours department (T&HD) had a pontoon providing services and the time for the operations were between six in the morning to about 9:30 and then it resumed its operations from about two in the afternoon to five. So, it’s not a case whereby Government, or the Ministry, of the management of TH&D wants to take bread out of persons’ mouth. Those were in existence long before river taxies came into operations,” Ferguson explained.However, the Minister pledged her commitment to resolve the issue but she noted that decision may not be in favour of all stakeholders.BBCI shareholdersMeanwhile, close to 10 months after the reduction of the Berbice River Bridge tolls, Government on Wednesday said is yet to hold talks with shareholders on the further decrease in the fares.Government had indicated that it would work towards continuing the lowering of tolls, with January 1, 2016 being the first move.However, Minister Ferguson disclosed that no progress has been made in this regard.After months of debate and negotiations between Government and the company, Government reduced fares to cross the Berbice Bridge by granting a $40 million subsidy to the Bridge Company.Government prior to its ascension to office had promised a toll reduction, but seemingly did not take into consideration the numerous legal and other issues involving such a move. As such, there was much debate between the Bridge Company, its shareholders and the Government over the issue.
Hull owner Assem Allam says he put the club up for sale 22 hours after the decision to reject a change of name for the team was announced in April.The Egyptian addressed the media at the KC Stadium on Thursday and said he would either sell the club or stay in place if the appeal against the decision to block the change of name to Hull Tigers was reversed at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.He said he remained committed to the club until either the name was changed or a sale was completed, whichever came first. He did not reveal what price he was looking for to sell.Allam said: “Lately we have seen a lot of rumours around and I’ve decided it’s better to clear the air.“We stated earlier this year that the club would be for sale if our attempt to globally promote Hull Tigers as a brand name and playing name be blocked.“As a consequence of the FA’s decision on April 9 I announced within 24 hours, actually within 22 hours, that Hull City is for sale.“I am using the wording Hull City now to show respect to the FA decision. This announcement is in accordance with my decision 10 months ago that I would walk away within 24 hours [if the rebrand was unsuccessful].“In actual fact it was 22 hours. When I say something I mean it.”Allam added: “We have also begun the appeal against the FA decision with the Court of Arbitration for Sport and we are hopeful of a positive outcome, or that the FA reconsider their decision.“Until the conclusion of that appeal or the sale, whichever comes first, we will remain fully committed to the club.“If the appeal comes first, okay, no harm done. If the sale comes first – sold.” Assem Allam 1