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Thread: UK: Newbie startup questions

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    FlangePiece's Avatar
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    Default UK: Newbie startup questions

    Hi, I have just discovered this site and would be grateful for any advise people can give me.

    I am thinking of starting a pedicab service for event hire and also to take people along an off road route through the locals parks and town quay in Poole, Dorset. This would be on a dual use pedestrain/cycle route. Do people think my local council are likely to allow this?

    I am now intending to initially take any fee paying passengers whilst on public highways (just on the cycle ways) so I am wandering if that will mean I woudn't need to apply for a hackney licence.

    I have already phoned my council, it would appear they have never dealt with any applications for rickshaws. So I want to avoid any complicated red tape if possible and am hoping I can refer them to a council who is already allowing such businesses.

    I have been reading with interest the posts by Phil Saltmarsh. Any other experiences with similar businesses would be gratefully received.

    Dave

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    Hi Dave,

    Realistically, only your local council can give a definitive answer to this question.

    My personal view is that as you are planning to only use cycleways they should be able to come up with a fairly simple permit to allow you to operate. The trouble is that each council is fairly autonomous and interprets their guidelines differently.

    What I did when starting up was to write my proposal down, then set up a meeting with the tourism officer to explain the idea and ask whether the council would support it. After a positive talk this then led to meetings with the licensing officer and the head of the parks department which eventually allowed me to get started with a straight-forward and cheap agreement.

    If you go along similar lines, think carefully about the detail you want to include in your proposal (one of the copies I left with my council unexpectedly ended up in the public domain).

    It helps to emphasise safety because although this is overall a safe industry, people in authority tend to feel suspicious about it.

    Including a few photos of the type of rickshaw you intend to use also seems to help because, as you've discovered, most councils haven't come across them before.

    I hope this is of use and wish you good luck with it.

    Phil

  3. #3
    FlangePiece's Avatar
    FlangePiece Guest

    Cool

    Thanks Phil,

    I will follow your advise and contact the council. Up to now I have just been deliberating and haven't made any effort to find out if the venture is possible. When I contacted them before (probably about 2 years ago now) I just tried the transportation services department and they said I would have to submit a business case. I think your suggestion of contacting tourism first might be more sensible.

    I am hoping if I start things rolling now I might have something ready by next summer, which has got to be better than this one!

    Regards, Dave

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