herald

Wednesday 18 July 2018

Ross wants rickshaw operators to have a say on proposed law

Rickshaw in city centre
Rickshaw in city centre

Transport Minister Shane Ross has called on rickshaw operators to have their say on proposed new laws, despite having already said his pref-erred option is to ban the vehicles.

Mr Ross wants drivers and fleet owners to offer submissions on how rickshaws should be governed.

He told a Joint Oireachtas Committee he was "putting the industry on notice" that regulation or prohibition was coming down the line.

Reckless

"The days of indulging a reckless activity that appears to be running amok are coming to a close," he said.

Announcing plans to consult with people who drive or own rickshaws, the minister acknowledged he has outlined his preferred option.

However, he added that "of course I want to hear from people who will be affected by any decision I may make, so we are now looking for submissions from the industry".

"We outlined the difficulties with some options open to me. But, as always, we have to hear from all sides," he said.

Mr Ross previously told TDs and senators that a National Transport Authority (NTA) public consultation found that of 4,800 respondents, 54pc supported a ban.

According to the NTA survey, 57pc of passengers reported accidents or near misses on the vehicles.

The minister argued that given the small section of the public served by an estimated 1,000 rickshaws in Dublin city centre, an outright ban would represent better value for money as regulation would prove costly and might require additional resources.

"However, this option is not entirely without obstacles," he said.

Interests

"My officials are engaging with the Office of the Attorney General to consider the blockages that might arise with the preferred approach, including how best to weigh and balance private interests in the context of the public good."

Mr Ross pledged to make a decision on his proposals to deal with the issue before the Dail rises for the summer recess, once legal advice had been received from the Attorney General.

Submissions to the public consultation for drivers and fleet owners can be emailed to rickshaws@dttas.gov.ie by 5pm on Monday July 2.

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