As they work on traffic SI for the island

Residents on Ambergris Caye have registered their concerns to The San Pedro Sun in regards to the visibly growing numbers of private motor vehicles on the island. According to the complainants, the increase in private motor vehicles is adding to the traffic congestion especially during the busy time of the day – in the morning, lunchtime and after-work hours. But the Mayor of San Pedro Town, Daniel Guerrero says that because some of the licenses were already approved under the previous council, and faced with the fact that there was no legal moratorium, at this time there is not much the council can do. He did say however, that the council is working on a Statutory Instrument (SI) to address the traffic problems the island has been plagued with for the past ten years.

According to Mayor Guerrero, the reason people are noticing a spike in new vehicles around the island, is because the council is forced to honor permits issued under the administration of former Mayor Elsa Paz. “The importation of vehicles was never stopped. We are just honoring permits that were already given, but what we are doing is working on the size of vehicles that will be permitted on the island. Some people were given the permits under a previous administration, but took a while to bring in their vehicles. We have given out a few under our administration but are for people living outside of town core area, with a limit on vehicle size. Golf cart permits are automatic – once you qualify we cannot deny you a right to own a vehicle,” said Guerrero. The Mayor said that even when people apply for permit to import a vehicle, the council always encourages the applicant to consider importing a golf cart instead.

When asked about the moratorium that former Mayor Elsa Paz had announced, Guerrero said there was no such moratorium. “To have a moratorium, it must go through an entire process for it to be legal. What she (Elsa Paz) announced was not legal. It was even challenged before. To put a moratorium, it would have to go through a very long process, something she never followed, and we have spoken to our attorneys about it. I will not shy away from saying it, but we have not stopped issuing and honoring existing permits, but we are trying to downsize the size of both motor vehicle and taxis,” said Guerrero. He added that some people have been cooperating with the council and have chosen to bring smaller vehicles.

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