Gloucestershire

Cheltenham Borough Council considers rickshaw licensing

Cheltenham Borough Council is debating whether rickshaws should be licensed in a similar way to taxis.

The idea has been opposed by the one rickshaw firm in the town which says they should not be compared to taxi companies.

Rickshaw Revolution also wants a larger operation area than suggested by the council.

The council has said it has to follow existing rules and says extending the operation area may tire out drivers.

If the proposals are approved, a trial period will take place in Cheltenham.

'Pedal power'

Rickshaw Revolution wants to operate up to three rickshaws in the town centre.

Owner, James Myer, said: "The Hackney Carriage law was originally for horse and cabs many years ago, but for the last hundred years it's been refined to apply to taxis.

"Something that applies to taxis is completely inappropriate to apply to rickshaws which is powered by pedal power, by limbs, it is the wrong thing to do."

Depending on its success, the fleet could further expand.

Other issues which will be debated include whether to set the annual licence fee at the same rate as a taxi and how to set a fare structure rate.

However, metered fares have already been ruled out by the council.

Council officer, Louis Krog, said: "The council can do as much as the legislation permits you to do.

"We're not asking for any firm decisions, we're asking cabinet members to support it in principle, then we will go out to consultation on the draft policy, so in that sense nothing has been set in stone."

The council has said if the proposals are approved, rickshaws could be on the streets on Cheltenham later this summer.

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