A Tuk Tuk has been given the green light to operate as a private hire vehicle for special sight-seeing tours around Chester.
Saughall-based Deva Tuk Tuks is delighted its vision received council backing on Tuesday morning, January 19, following a close 7-6 vote when it went before the licensing committee.
Mel Ashley, of Deva Tuk Tuks, told the Chronicle how thrilled the team is, especially after a council officer recommended refusal in a report to committee members.
Peter Willett, licensing team leader, wrote: “Officers’ main concerns are how this vehicle type would cope on fast or busy roads with its limited performance; stability issues due to the three wheel design; the low level of impact protection and the omission of routinely fitted safety features such as air bags, pre-tensioned or three point seat belts, crumple zones, etc.”
Deva Tuk Tuks has been offering the automatic rickshaws – which can legally travel on UK roads at speeds of up to 40mph – for hire as chauffeur-driven wedding transport since its inception in 2014, following an inspirational trip to Thailand.
Mel, a driving instructor, explained they received multiple requests to run short trips and tours, but they needed the special licensing under private hire legislation.
Now that they are licensed, they will be able to offer tours tailored to what their customers want to see.
But Mel says it will be a few months before their three-wheeled vehicle, which was made in India, becomes a familiar sight on Chester streets.
She also sought to reassure taxi services in the area that they have no plans for a fleet and are ‘not a taxi company’.
“Taxi companies have nothing to worry about,” she said.
“There is only likely to be one of us for a long, long time.”