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Tuk tuks are set to come to the streets of Newquay

Tuk tuks are set to come to the streets of Newquay

Published by Sarah Yeoman at 8:33am 27th July 2020.

Written by Richard Whitehouse, Local Democracy Reporter. Photo: Clean Motion.

Tuk tuks could be seen on the streets of Newquay next year after a licence was granted for a new company looking to run a service in the town.

NuBeez had applied to Cornwall Council for a private hire licence so that it could operate electric tuk tuks in Newquay.

The original plan had been to start the service this year but due to the coronavirus pandemic it has been delayed until 2021.

Last week the council’s miscellaneous licensing committee agreed unanimously to grant a licence to the firm.

However the approval includes several conditions including the need for doors to be fitted to the vehicles which can carry up to two passengers.

NuBeez said that it is looking to have two ZBee electric tuk tuks running in the town and hope to eventually expand to other towns in Cornwall.

The company is operated by Georgia Horsley and Dr Prasad Raja Venkatesh who said they have plans to expand to Padstow, St Ives and Fowey and will operate between April and October.

As they have been granted a private hire licence they will only be able to take advanced bookings from people wanting to use the tuk tuks.

Senior licensing officer Julie Flower told the committee that the licence would need special conditions attached as the vehicles did not fit in with council guidelines for licenced vehicles.

Councillor Jesse Foot said he was concerned about plans for the vehicles to travel on the B roads between Newquay and Watergate Bay when they could only travel at between 20 and 30 miles per hour.

Ms Horsley and Dr Ventakash said that they would be concentrating on the central areas of Newquay.

Bert Biscoe raised the issue of doors on the tuk tuks as it had been highlighted when the application previously went before councillors.

He said that he was concerned about the safety of the vehicles and how safe passengers would be if the tuk tuks had no doors and were involved in a collision.

Dr Venkatesh said that he was in discussion with the vehicle manufacturers to have doors fitted and would be happy to do so if the council requested.

Cllr Foot said that while he was concerned about the tuk tuks using the B roads he did want to support the plans.

He said: “I think it is a forward thinking application and initially I am quite supportive of it even if I have some safety concerns.”

Cllr Biscoe added: “I take the point about B roads but there are lots of other thinks like pedestrians and bicycles on that will be using that road safely.”

He proposed that the licence be approved with the condition that doors are fitted.

Cllr Biscoe said that if the doors did not work for any reason or were not practical then the applicants could come back to the committee to vary the licence.

Councillor Malcolm Brown said that he could see parallels with when the landtrain started in Newquay adding: “I think this will work and I am extremely enthusiastic about it.”

The licence was unanimously approved with the conditions which had been provided by the council and the requirement for doors to be placed on the tuk tuks.

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