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Dec 22, 2008

Supreme Court dismisses Transport Dept. application

There is news of some good sorts today for the Novelo owned National Transport. Justice Samuel Awich today dismissed an application by the Belize Transport Department and the Chief Transport Officer Candaleria Saldivar against the owners of National Transport Services and the Novelo family. Justice Awich upheld an earlier ruling that National Transport can claim millions of dollars in losses accrued since government implemented the new bus scheduled on October eighteenth. The Novelos say that because of the new zoning system they have lost almost one hundred and fifty bus runs and substantial revenues. On December second Justice Awich had granted the Novelo’s permission to proceed to the next round of their legal battle, ruling in favour of six different applications they had made seeking judicial review. Appearing for the Transport Department, Attorney Lois Young argued that the Novelos had resorted to ‘flooding’ the Northern zone after the route distributions left them with more buses than runs in the south and west. She asked Justice Awich to implement an order restraining the Novelos from putting the extra buses on the road and further claimed that National Transport had no permits for two way runs from Belize City to the Santa Elena border. Attorney for the Novelos, Lisa Shoman, disputed the allegations and maintained that her clients were simply continuing to operate the runs for which they had been granted permits. Justice Awich also ordered the Government to pay costs and noted that perhaps Young had not fully understood his orders and that the Transport Board was duly vested with the power to regulate the bus transportation industry.

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