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Thread: licensing and pedicab/council relations

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    Default licensing and pedicab/council relations

    After a day of mixed reaction from different council departments I was wondering how folks here have got on in their dealings with local council authorities specifically, the taxi licensing department, when trying to get a pedicab operation off the ground.

    Initially today we spoke with the council's sustainability dept. thinking it best to try and get those likely to be most sympathetic to the idea on-side. They were very supportive and seemed very enthused about the idea but said, as we expected, that licensing would be the main hurdle.

    So then Matt, my pedicab compadre, called up the taxi dept. and spoke with the head of hackney carriage licenses and got pretty short shrift from him. He seemed completely uninterested and was not willing to entertain any idea of pedicabs getting going in the area so, realising there was no hope of talking him round Matt thanked him and said good bye.

    O we were wondering what sort of reaction people here have had from their local authorities and what, if any licenses they have been required to get and whether those licenses restrict in any way how you go about running your business.

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    Here follows a copy of the e-mail we sent following up our phone calls.

    Sarah, I got a failed delivery message for the address I have for you (sarah.costello@brighton-hove.gov.uk) hence I am resending this message to this address. It has already been sent to Thurstan Crockett.
    Thanks, Matt

    Dear Mr Crockett,

    My business partner Kit Johnson and I are
    planing on starting up a pedicab business in Brighton. We are going to
    produce a detailed proposal in the coming weeks so that you are able to
    see exactly what this entails. As we want to work closely with the
    council, yesterday I spoke to Sarah Costello, and also to Abbey Hone
    who is responsible for sustainable transport, particularly cycling.
    Both were extremely helpful and supportive, and both were keen to see
    the proposal when it is ready. I also informed the hackey carriage
    office, as we have decided it is best to be licenced in order to work
    together with the council and ensure that our riders have the
    confidence of the council and the public. Unfortunately, the person I
    spoke to dismissed the idea out of hand and was unwilling to even
    consider the idea. Two reason were given. The first was that we
    'wouldn't be able to cycle up the hills' I don't think that needs
    further comment and is not an issue for the
    council. The second was
    that there is a waiting list for licences for new hackney carriages
    (although we were told 'it won't happen' anyway, showing his
    unwillingness even to consider our proposal). We are going to detail
    this issue in our proposal, but essentially, under English Law pedicabs
    are not hackney carriages, and therefore not covered by the same laws
    and regulations. These are therefore no grounds to refuse to grant a
    licence, and the reason a hackney carriage licence would be granted is
    for lack of a separate pedicab licence being provided by Brighton City
    Council. Obviously, such a scheme is unnecessary, as the location tests
    and CRB check that contribute to a hackney carriage licence are
    suitable for pedicabs, and so the present system could be adapted.
    Indeed, this is what councils across the country have done in order to
    meet their sustainable transport goals, and seems the most sensible
    option in the circumstances. It would obviously be
    absurd for a
    licence to be refused on the grounds given by the officer concerned. We
    would therefore greatly appreciate it if you could look through our
    proposals when they are prepared, and help to ensure that they are
    treated by the licensing department in a fair and reasonable manner.

    Yours Sincerely,

    Matthew Tolliday

  3. #3
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    I am quite dissapointed to see that this thread didn't get much attention from our experineced members. I am sure some of you guys must have dealt with councils. And sharing your experinces would be priceless for new starters like Mrboogiejuice.
    what I wonder is, what is holding you back from sharing your experinces with the new starters?
    I am sorry if I am wrong but sometimes I feel like many of the experinced members are guarding their knowledge from the others and I believe, this is against the philosophy of Forums!!!

    Nice topic Mrboogiejuice, please keep posting your experince, its much appreaciated.

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    Default Remember UK is different

    My experience would not help as I have no experience with going as a Hackney or a taxi. Not sure I would go that direction. Maybe pedal cabs need their own regs?

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    Of course Greg...
    I am talking about the guys from UK.
    Thanks anyway.

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    Default I know the feeling.

    Hello fellow members of this forum.

    I was reading that we may not have an interest in this post. I can only speak for myself that I think this is an importan subject.

    After been in this forum for almost two years, I discovered that regardless of the geographic location of our operations, the problems that all of us encounter are almost the same.

    My experience with handpulled rickshaws in different cities of California is that each of them have different regulations. I helped a gentleman from Oregon to get the licence from his town by providing information about the operation I have going in los Angeles because his town claimed that there was not such license anywhere in the U.S.

    What I have learned about the rickshaws bureacracy is that we have to have a plan to operate in the city we are planning to do bussiness with, the community and local bussiness support. One thing that almost any town wants is something to generate employment and to attract customers to the local bussiness and probably the most important factor is the safety of everybody: drivers, passengers and vehicles circulating on the streets.

    I was deny a license to operate in the Los Angeles Chinatown by the older members of the Chinese comunity of the Plaza where I was planning to operate. I found out that no bussiness in that plaza were inform that I was planning to get rickshaws operating in there.
    When I was speaking to the bussiness owners about my plan, the reaction was positive because I was going to have insurance, background checks on drivers and a route that will show all the local bussiness to the passengers.
    The owners wanted more customers and the rickshaws will attract then to their bussiness and that will generate more revenue for everybody.
    It will be a bussiness venture that will benefit everybody.

    When they said no the first time, I did not give up and become their enemy, I approached them againg letting them know that I wanted to be part of the plaza and the local bussines operating there.

    I wish you the best luck on your enterprize and the attitud you take toward the problem may open or close doors down the line.

    One thing that I found out was that a family of five will let the kids take a rickshaw and at the end of the day, they will take a taxi to go home.
    By attracting people to a place to have fun riding rickshaws, it will mean more passengers for the taxi operators as well. In this case, both of you, the rickshaw and taxi operators will benefit from this.

    Best regards.

    Jose

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    Thanks for the reply Jose. We're trying very much not to antagonise anyone in the council and are aiming to build relationships with those in the council who are enthusiastic about the idea and who will hopefully apply pressure on the licensing dept. to grant us permission to go ahead.

    Ricky's quite right, it'd be really useful to hear how other UK operators get on with their local councils and how they presented their case to them.

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