Southwold 'not interested' in council's rickshaw plans

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Southwold lighthouse and Sole Bay Inn with a tuk tukImage source, BBC/PA
Image caption,
It is being proposed that tuk-tuks (pictured) and rickshaws could operate in Waveney towns, such as Southwold (pictured left)

Plans to allow motorised tuk-tuks and cycle rickshaws have been welcomed in all but one town in north-east Suffolk.

A decision on the proposals, which have been part of an eight-week consultation, is due to be made by Waveney District Council on Wednesday.

Beccles, Bungay, Halesworth and Lowestoft have all supported the plans.

But Southwold Town Council said it did not want "any such vehicles to operate within the town".

Image source, Nick Galvin
Image caption,
Southwold Town Council does not want motorised or cycle rickshaws in the town
Image source, PA
Image caption,
Pedal rickshaws can be seen on the streets of London
Image caption,
Southwold town centre's narrow streets are relatively free of traffic in winter, but can be very busy in summer

The proposals will be discussed by councillors on Waveney's licensing committee.

Under the plans, drivers of motorised or cycle rickshaws will have to be granted a Hackney Carriage licence, similar to taxi drivers.

They will also need to hold a UK driving licence, even if operating a cycle rickshaw as the council said it wants "any person using one of these vehicles to transport the public to have a good knowledge of the road".

Horse and cart 'causes chaos'

The council said permitted rickshaws will be restricted to pre-determined routes, such as the promenade in Lowestoft.

It said two licences would have to be issued, a rickshaw driver licence and a rickshaw vehicle licence.

Waveney council officers are recommending councillors approve the plans.

It is not known why Southwold Town Council is against the idea and it has been approached by the BBC for further comment.

Former mayor Teresa Baggott said she thought it would fit in with Southwold's "twee and quirky" reputation, but said the "sheer volume" of people in the summer was most likely the issue.

"We have a horse and cart that trundles up and down the street in the summer and it causes chaos," she said.

Southwold already has a ban on buses on most of its High Street, introduced to try and reduce congestion.

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