Rickshaw licensing given the green light in east Suffolk

Ian Lightfoot is pleased with the new plans to bring rickshaw licensing to east Suffolk. Picture: GR

Ian Lightfoot is pleased with the new plans to bring rickshaw licensing to east Suffolk. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Plans to license rickshaws in towns across the Suffolk Coastal and Waveney districts have been given the go ahead.

Reporter Katy Sandalls tries out one of the rickshaws. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Reporter Katy Sandalls tries out one of the rickshaws. Picture: GREGG BROWN

The proposals were discussed and passed ‘unanimously’ earlier this week at a meeting of the authorities’ licensing committee.

The new plans will cover the licensing of both auto-rickshaws and peddle driven vehicles in towns across east Suffolk.

Businesses will now be able to apply for a license to run paying customers around our local beauty spots.

The routes they take will still need to be agreed with the relevant town council.

Ian Lightfoot on his rickshaw. Picture: GREGG BROWN

Ian Lightfoot on his rickshaw. Picture: GREGG BROWN


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Licenses for the new scheme can be sought for Aldeburgh, Felixstowe, Framlingham, Kesgrave and Saxmundham.

No applications will be considered for Woodbridge after members of the town council there slammed the idea earlier this year.

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Ian Lightfoot runs the Felixstowe-based Suffolk Rickshaw Company, which provides the vehicles for events such as weddings, birthdays and other celebrations.

He has previously applied for a similar license with the district councils without success.

Mr Lightfoot is pleased to see that proposals for a wider licensing scheme are moving forward but believes that more can be done to help people wanting to set up these sorts of businesses.

“Long term with the costs of the rickshaw then of the insurance, then you have the license...You have got the best part of three of four months to make that back,” he said.

Those wanting to apply for the new license will have to obtain a Hackney Carriage Driving License first, as well as a Rickshaw Hackney Vehicle License. Both could end up costing businesses hundreds of pounds.

Previous insurance quotes that Mr Lightfoot had received for his vehicle were over £800 but having spoken to similar companies involved in rickshaws Mr Lightfoot believes that problems with the insurance can be overcome in the long term and will continue to talk with the councils about the scheme.

“I am not going to give up,” said Mr Lightfoot.

A spokesperson for the councils said that the requirements of the new licensing scheme were necessary to help to manage the proposed scheme safely and properly.

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