It’s the end of the road for Galway rickshaws, which are to be banned once their current licences are up. James Falconer reports…
City Council has unanimously voted to introduce new by-laws that will ban the use of rickshaws on the city’s streets.
City Council personnel accepted that the decision to permit the movement of rickshaws up and down the city’s streets was as a mistake and a ‘failed experiment’.
Similarly, the use of Rickshaws in the West End of London has also recently been controversial, and a motion to outlaw them there has also been enacted.
Cab and taxi drivers feel aggrieved because their trade is being affected by the Rickshaws, which have the ability to dodge traffic congestion by using pedestrianised streets.
However, a pedestrianised street by definition is for pedestrians, not for cars, vans, cyclists, mopeds, motorbikes, etc. Exceptions are made for morning deliveries to businesses. Although, one would surely make another exception for a disabled person in an electric wheelchair. Cyclists should dismount their bikes and walk them down a pedestrianised street – fact. What’s the rush? Slow down, breathe, and relax.
The new proposed by-laws outlawing rickshaws, which are three-seated carriages on wheels being pulled by people either on foot or by pedal, will be drawn up in the coming months.
The motion to ban rickshaws by repealing the existing by-laws was proposed by City Councillor Mike Crowe, chair of the Transport Strategic Policy Committee.
Cllr Crowe argued that rickshaws are a danger to pedestrians on Shop Street and other pedestrian areas. He said that they add “no value” to the city.
Cllr Billy Cameron, who seconded the motion, said Galway’s medieval streets were “too narrow for rickshaws to operate safely.”
In Galway, there are currently 24 licences for non-motorised passenger transporters, including 20 rickshaws and four horse-drawn carriages.
The new by-laws, voted by all 14 councilors present, cannot be introduced until the existing licenses for the 20 rickshaws expire, which isn’t until later this summer, according to senior engineer Billy Dunne.
Those of us who enjoy a relaxing stroll through Galway at night will soon no longer be subjected to screaming drunk people whizzing up and down the city on unlit, mostly silent, rickshaws.
If someone wants the thrill of going “faster, faster, yay” maybe they should think about a trip to Disneyworld or some other amusement park.
How often to you use the Galway rickshaws?