Petition launched in bid to bring free Tuk-Tuk rides to Ipswich Waterfront

Ian Bacon who wants to set up a free Italian Riveria taxi service on Ipswich waterfront.

Ian Bacon who wants to set up a free Italian Riveria taxi service on Ipswich waterfront.

An Ipswich businessman has begun a petition to get public backing for free Tuk-Tuk rides around Ipswich Waterfront, after his plans were snagged by licensing red tape.

Ian Bacon, 60, the managing director of BeeAppy, proposed to bring three Piaggio scooter vans – which are popular on the streets of Italy, and in India known as Tuk-Tuks – to the streets around the Waterfront.

But despite local businesses willing to sponsor the vehicles, meaning pedestrians would be able to take advantage of the rides for free, Mr Bacon was told he needed a licence either for private hire or Hackney Carriage.

But the keen businessman was told he was unlikely to be granted one as it would not comply with the Disability Discrimination Act.

“It just seems like the whole thing doesn’t make sense really,” Mr Bacon said.

“I am allowed to ride around bride and grooms at weddings and hire it out to people for private hire without a licence but I cannot run it for free rides along the Waterfront.”

Now, the determined Tuk-Tuk fan, who has named his first vehicle ‘Bambino’ has launched a petition to help gain some backing from the public, and demonstrate to licence decision-makers there is a desire for them.

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He added: “I hope to make the council take notice and if we have all these people supporting it, it will be great for the Waterfront.”

Mr Bacon plans to submit an application to the council when he has enough signatures, and present it during an appeal if it is declined.

BeeAppy already uses two similar vehicles for the advertising branch of the firm, and in the meantime is using Bambino for wedding hire.

Mr Bacon concluded: “I have got so many people saying it’s good for the Waterfront – the support has been phenomenal.”

To view and sign the petition, visit http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/do-you-want-quirky-italian-3-wheelers-giving-free.