19 rickshaws seized in Cork city

19 rickshaws seized in Cork city

NINETEEN rickshaws were seized in the city centre at the weekend in a Garda-led operation in conjunction with Customs and Social Welfare officers.

The aim of the operation was to check that all rickshaws in the city were compliant with roadworthiness, including having proper lighting.

Officers were also checking if rickshaws had electric motors, which, depending on the kilowatt output, could require road tax.

Social Welfare officers were also investigating complaints that some rickshaw drivers were in receipt of welfare payments while working.

Local Fine Gael Councillor Joe Kavanagh, who has campaigned for the removal of rickshaws, said:

“It is a step in the right direction in relation to the regulation of these rickshaws.

“I’m delighted to see the law is being applied on a level playing field for everyone. For too long these rickshaw drivers have been ignored while blatantly flouting the law.

“People have been allowed to operate a business with these rickshaws which are uninsured, untaxed and are often seen breaking the rules of the road.”

Mr Kavanagh said rickshaws are a public safety concern.

Mr Kavanagh said: “These rickshaws have been seen driving on footpaths and going the wrong way up one-way streets. It is a matter of safety for the general public.

“Also it is great news for the law-abiding public service operators in the city.”

Spokesperson of the Cork Taxi Council, Bobby Lynch, also expressed delight at the news of the garda crackdown.

“These rickshaws have no lights and they do what they want. They have been taking taxi fares from us. Our insurance is through the roof and these people are operating without any insurance and charging what they like.

“There are rickshaws charging a fiver from the Old Oak to Reardens, if we charged that we would lose our licence. I’m delighted there has been a clampdown. For a long time it seemed that no one cared about the taxi drivers.”

A Garda Spokesperson confirmed the rickshaws had been seized under the Road Traffic Act and investigations were ongoing.

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