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City Councillors vote to ban rickshaws from streets of Galway

Claims that rickshaws are “too dangerous” and the streets of Galway are “too narrow” have been rubbished by a legal operator of the bike taxis.

Rickshaws in Galway City.
Rickshaws in Galway City.
Image: Promocabs Cork Galway via Facebook

RICKSHAWS ARE TO be banned from all pedestrianised streets of Galway city from this summer on.

Fianna Fáil Councillor, Michael Crowe, made the proposal to ban the taxi bikes at a Galway City Council meeting on Monday night and it was supported by all 14 councillors present.

Although he was unsure if any accidents were caused by the rickshaws, Crowe told TheJournal.ie that they were “too dangerous” and said he had recieved a number of complaints from local business people about them.

Leszek Majewski, who legally operates 17 rickshaws in Galway city under the company Promocabs, has questioned Crowe’s reason to ban the bikes:

How can someone say they are too dangerous when there has been no accidents involving the rickshaws? Not one accident has occurred in the past seven years.

Crowe said his main concerns were that the bikes “go at high speed, late at night and it’s not suitable for the area… Galway has medieval streets and they are too narrow for the wide bikes”.

Majewski told TheJournal.ie there were too many rickshaws in operation on a Friday and Saturday night in Galway city and put part of the blame for the ban on illegal taxi bike operators.

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“There are too many rickshaws on the streets. There are around 40 at the weekend and there are only 20 licences. There are too many people operating them illegally and this was a huge problem. The council should have tackled this instead of banning them.”

The bike cabs will now have to use the roads around the city for business but Majewski said that they would lose business doing that and 17 rickshaw drivers could lose their jobs. “Around 80 per cent of our business and profit comes from Shop Street, so it could mean there will be no business for us.”

Crowe denied that his decision was unfair: “My jobs as a councillor is to make decisions that are in the best interests of the city. Not everyone will be happy with those decisions but it’s not about happiness.”

Read: Dublin bikes scheme to get €2.6m expansion >

More: Did your bike get robbed? This person wants to return one…

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