Electric tricycles may spark city centre tourism

thisisoxfordshire: ‘Pedicabs’ could soon become a common sight in Oxford ‘Pedicabs’ could soon become a common sight in Oxford

ELECTRIC tricycles could help show off Oxford’s dreaming spires to hundreds of tourists.

A unique plan to bring the so-called “pedicabs” to the city could be given the go-ahead tonight.

The CityCruiser tricycles, which have a maximum speed of 25km per hour, work for up to eight hours a day after charging from a mains socket overnight.

The scheme has been put forward by Kent-based firm Veloform UK.

It wants to initially licence its tricycles as private-hire vehicles, targeting tourists in the city.

Private-hire vehicles have to be booked in advance, whereas normal taxis or “hackney carriages” can be hailed in the street or wait at ranks.

But managing director Andrew Hutchinson said they could also later be used as taxis or for deliveries.

Mr Hutchinson said there was a strong argument for their use as taxis, and said they were better and more regulated than primitive rickshaws.

He said: “At the moment all we are looking at in Oxford is the tourist market.

“We know they can work in cities which get a lot of visitors and tourists, for people who don’t want to do a walking tour, but don’t want one of the open-top buses.”

The CityCruisers are already operating in more than 150 cities in 50 different countries, but Oxford could be the first British city to get them.

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He said: “London has these 900 abysmal rickshaws, which can operate as a bicycle and can therefore do anything they like.

“The pedicabs weigh considerably more than a bicycle, and they are fully-licensed and have to be driven by someone over the age of 17.”

The proposal has met with a mixed response.

Taxi driver Richard Barlow, 59, from Kidlington, said: “I don’t mind if they’re doing it for the tourism, because it’s better than those big red buses, but I would oppose them being used as taxis because it would harm our business. There are already too many taxis out there.”

Oxford City Council leader Bob Price, left, said: “It’s complicated because if you’re going to have them as things which are hired, they will either have to be classed as a hackney carriage, which they can’t be at the moment because we have a limit of 104.

“It’s either that or private hire, which would mean they would have to conform to legislation which at the moment states they have to have four wheels.”

Veloform UK has asked the city council to consider whether the vehicles could be licensed in Oxford.

Members of the council’s general purpose licensing committee have been advised to ask officers to examine the proposals in more detail when they meet at the town hall at 6pm tonight.

Comments (6)

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10:45am Wed 17 Oct 12

bart-on simpson says...

8 hours of plugging in - very sustainable!

What's wrong with using your Legedes Benz?

London Rickshaws - tacky and a road hazard.
8 hours of plugging in - very sustainable! What's wrong with using your Legedes Benz? London Rickshaws - tacky and a road hazard. bart-on simpson
  • Score: -20

1:42pm Wed 17 Oct 12

paul from Kennington says...

Oxford City Council leader Bob Price, left, said: “It’s complicated because if you’re going to have them as things which are hired, they will either have to be classed as a hackney carriage, which they can’t be at the moment because we have a limit of 104

C'mon Bob tell the truth. They cannot be licensed as a hackney carriage, because YOUR rules state that a TAXI has to be a purpose built vehicle, fully wheelchair and disability accessible with a swivel seat. I.E. Only a TX4 Besides many other things. P.S. Bob. You currently licence 107 Hackney Carriages, not 104 hehe.
Oxford City Council leader Bob Price, left, said: “It’s complicated because if you’re going to have them as things which are hired, they will either have to be classed as a hackney carriage, which they can’t be at the moment because we have a limit of 104 C'mon Bob tell the truth. They cannot be licensed as a hackney carriage, because YOUR rules state that a TAXI has to be a purpose built vehicle, fully wheelchair and disability accessible with a swivel seat. I.E. Only a TX4 Besides many other things. P.S. Bob. You currently licence 107 Hackney Carriages, not 104 hehe. paul from Kennington
  • Score: -55

3:41pm Wed 17 Oct 12

King Joke says...

Here's an idea - how about a road system which quickly moves buses from one side of the city centre to the other without impediment. THen all parts of the city in general would be connected, and tourists could simply use the existing PT network, using smart cards included in their hotel bill. THere would be no need for an additional fleet of vehicles on the streets.
Here's an idea - how about a road system which quickly moves buses from one side of the city centre to the other without impediment. THen all parts of the city in general would be connected, and tourists could simply use the existing PT network, using smart cards included in their hotel bill. THere would be no need for an additional fleet of vehicles on the streets. King Joke
  • Score: 8

4:05pm Thu 18 Oct 12

paul from Kennington says...

King Joke wrote:
Here's an idea - how about a road system which quickly moves buses from one side of the city centre to the other without impediment. THen all parts of the city in general would be connected, and tourists could simply use the existing PT network, using smart cards included in their hotel bill. THere would be no need for an additional fleet of vehicles on the streets.
We used to have that, it was called Cornmarket Street, but the buses took advantage and blocked it up all day long belching out fumes. The council asked the buses to reduce the number of buses through Cornmarket Street to allow for a good flow of buses through the centre, (as you now wish) and the buses said NO. So the council had no option but to close Cornmarket to ALL through traffic, including Disability Taxis dropping vulnerable passengers to their destination. Shame really, but at least it allows illegal traders to take up all the street space now I thought as I walked down Cornmarket earlier, only to be met by a 40 Bus traffic jam stretching as far as the eye could see down both The High and St Aldates. But hey isn't it terrific without the traffic. 11 minutes this morning on the bus from 58 St Aldates to Carfax, all because a No 5 did not give way to a No 10 coming the other way blocking the road totally, before we give over more of our city to these "drivers" they need to be taught how to drive to the highway code and show respect to other road users. The centre of our City was given over to them 12 years ago, and they have abused it causing jams all day long it what should be a pleasant and beautiful environment.
[quote][p][bold]King Joke[/bold] wrote: Here's an idea - how about a road system which quickly moves buses from one side of the city centre to the other without impediment. THen all parts of the city in general would be connected, and tourists could simply use the existing PT network, using smart cards included in their hotel bill. THere would be no need for an additional fleet of vehicles on the streets.[/p][/quote]We used to have that, it was called Cornmarket Street, but the buses took advantage and blocked it up all day long belching out fumes. The council asked the buses to reduce the number of buses through Cornmarket Street to allow for a good flow of buses through the centre, (as you now wish) and the buses said NO. So the council had no option but to close Cornmarket to ALL through traffic, including Disability Taxis dropping vulnerable passengers to their destination. Shame really, but at least it allows illegal traders to take up all the street space now I thought as I walked down Cornmarket earlier, only to be met by a 40 Bus traffic jam stretching as far as the eye could see down both The High and St Aldates. But hey isn't it terrific without the traffic. 11 minutes this morning on the bus from 58 St Aldates to Carfax, all because a No 5 did not give way to a No 10 coming the other way blocking the road totally, before we give over more of our city to these "drivers" they need to be taught how to drive to the highway code and show respect to other road users. The centre of our City was given over to them 12 years ago, and they have abused it causing jams all day long it what should be a pleasant and beautiful environment. paul from Kennington
  • Score: -43

4:13pm Thu 18 Oct 12

King Joke says...

Carfax is one of the pinch-points on the inner bus loop. The Market Traders wouldn't allow the County to close the handfull of parking bays at the top of the High, so it always will be a pinch point. Why not receive Market deliveries on Market St? THe clue's in the name.

The others are at Speedwell St x St Aldates, Castle St x Greyfriars, New Rd x Worcester St and George St x Worcester St. With these removed buses would flow a lot better.
Carfax is one of the pinch-points on the inner bus loop. The Market Traders wouldn't allow the County to close the handfull of parking bays at the top of the High, so it always will be a pinch point. Why not receive Market deliveries on Market St? THe clue's in the name. The others are at Speedwell St x St Aldates, Castle St x Greyfriars, New Rd x Worcester St and George St x Worcester St. With these removed buses would flow a lot better. King Joke
  • Score: 0

1:57am Sun 4 Nov 12

chippedtooth says...

We have rickshaws already though!
This is not a new issue.
We have rickshaws already though! This is not a new issue. chippedtooth
  • Score: 0

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