CALLS to ban 'unregulated and uninsured' rickshaws from city streets are growing.
City councillor Joe Kavanagh has hit out at the sector, claiming that they pose a health and safety risk.
The Fine Gael representative received a great deal of support in his call to permanently ban rickshaws in Cork, following the lead of Galway City Council.
Mr Kavanagh made the point that all road users are bound by the rules of the road. However, he said he has witnessed, on many occasions, rickshaws defying these rules by driving on footpaths and going the wrong way up and down streets.
Mr Kavanagh also said the city needs to get behind the regulated transport providers such as taxis and buses.
"Often, taxis are the first person people visiting our city will speak to. I mean they are outside the airport and the bus station, they are ambassadors for the city. We need to support them," he said.
"We have a duty of care to them."
Mr Kavanagh said that taxi drivers face a huge number of regulations, including health and safety and cleanliness requirements in order to remain on the road. Rickshaws do not come under a similar amount of scrutiny.
He said, "For example, taxis have to update the first aid kits in the boot of their car and their vehicle cannot be beyond a certain age.
"These rickshaws are not restricted by such laws. There is little cost in setting one up, there is no regulations, no rules and no insurance."
While the majority of councillors supported Mr Kavanagh, Fianna Fáil's Tim Brosnan argued that rickshaws provide a vital public service, adding to the atmosphere of the sitting and bringing people from one area to the next.
However, Mr Kavanagh disagreed, adding that public safety was his main priority and the council had a duty of care with regards to regulation.
"Every night they are on the street they are a potential danger and a risk to the public as well as a hazard for taxi drivers, pedestrians and other cars."
The motion was sent back to the Roads Functional Committee for further discussion.