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Get on track

With the help of a dedicated crew of five I have maintained the racetrack at Bushy Park for the past 40-plus years.

I am being asked daily by people who are motor sports fans what is going to happen at Bushy Park and if there is going to be an international race meeting this year at the end of August. I would appreciate it very much sir if you would publish this letter to let everyone know where I stand on this issue.

I have been told that the Government has acquired the area of land where the race track has operated for over 40 years. This area with the race track has been leased to the Barbados Motoring Federation, the BMF as a home for motor sport in Barbados.

The BMF has paid the lease and has a receipt to prove it. The BMF together with the Barbados Tourism Authority are negotiating with one of the most watched TV programmes in the world to film episodes in Barbados but the owners of the TV programme require that the Bushy Park race track be expanded and upgraded to international standards by June 2014.

The design has already been completed and approved by the world controlling body of motor sport the FIA. The BMF is planning to on-lease the area of the track to a new company that will be owned by investors who can raise the money to carry out the expansion and improvements to the track and manage its operation going forward.

The investors believe that the expansion can be done in time to meet the deadline set by the TV programme owners if the work starts no later than July 1, but there seems to be some confusion in connection with town planning.

I cannot understand why, because the race track has been in operation here for over 40 years. All the developers want to do is improve it to international standards so big name TV coverage that will publicise Barbados worldwide can be attracted to Barbados.

My position therefore is simple. The Government has to make up its mind if it wants a true international tourist attraction racing track in Barbados or not.

If the Prime Minister makes a bold decision and states publicly that the development has the full blessing of the Government I will pull out all stops to assist the developers and I am confident that Williams Industries Inc., and Digicel will sponsor the first international meeting organised there by the Barbados Auto Racing League after the expansion is complete.

If the Government does not state its position clearly in time for work to start on July 1 without confusion over planning permission, the opportunity for worldwide TV coverage will be lost so the track will not be developed.

That would be a shame for Barbados as we will become the laughing stock of the Caribbean.

— Wendy Williams

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