Gloucestershire

Cheltenham rickshaw business delay blamed on legal technicalities

A 14-month delay in deciding whether a businessman can operate a rickshaw service in Cheltenham is being blamed on legal technicalities.

James Myer wants to operate up to three rickshaws in the town, which the council has agreed in principle.

But Cheltenham Borough Council said there were no recognised standards for rickshaw licensing.

"There're no manufacturing standards it's all bicycle legislation they work to," spokesman Peter Jeffries said.

Mr Myer said the council had "totally killed the idea off".

'Safety standards'

"It would have been brilliant for Cheltenham and it's eco-friendly - they're a Lib Dem council - what's not to like?

"I haven't had a single valid reason," he added.

But the council denied it had been obstructive and said it had worked really hard to make it work, including seeking advice from the Law Commission.

Mr Jeffries said that with taxis there were certain safety quality standards laid down in licensing legislation that a member of the public expects when he or she flags a cab down.

"We can't get there with rickshaws... and [we need] to mitigate those risks and put some sorts of standards in.

"We're waiting for legislation to give us further guidance. We could have just said 'no' but to show our support we've endeavoured really hard to make it work.

"I don't think we've done anything that's been obstructive," he added.

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