THE FIRST Scottish sidecar tours could be up and running by spring, after plans were given the green light by the council.
Alan Jamieson, 56, is looking to take tourists around the area using a pair of motorbikes in a business that would be a first for Scotland.
Mr Jamieson, has offered tours to guests who stay at his holiday cottages at Durhamhill Farm in Kirkcudbrightshire, which have been free of charge, but as he is planning to introduce a fee he had to obtain a private hire operator’s licence from the council.
He has been granted the necessary licence by Dumfries and Galloway, and hopes to get his sidecar business up and running this year, using a Russian Ural Gear Up 745cc and a Triumph Bonneville T100r.
Mr Jamieson said today: “I have been riding on two wheels since I was 18. Eight years ago I got a side car and I had the idea for tours a couple of years ago.
“I have been taking our holiday makers out, and my own insurance covers that. I just thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun to get paid to ride a motor cycle?”
“It’s been an uphill struggle with the council, but now I have been granted the licence - I have to do an advanced rider test, amongst other things, which I will try to get done once the weather gets better.
“The plan is that anyone can go on a side car tour.
“No-one else is doing it in Scotland. There was a chap in the Peak District who used to run tours, but he doesn’t do them anymore. I think he was the only one in the UK that did it.
“A beauty about the side car is that you are doing 45 to 50 mph, and you can have plenty of time to take everything in.”
Mr Jamieson, who worked with the Ministry of Agriculture in Dumfries until 2013 also spends time in Greece doing veterinary charity work, which he has done for 17 years.
He said the new business venture does not yet have a name, but possibilities include “A Bit On The Side” sidecar tours.
He said: “I don’t know how popular it is going to be. Whether there is a sort of nostalgia thing about sidecars or not I don’t know, but it makes people smile when they see them.
“It will be a bit of a side business. We already have holiday cottages. We like to do things a bit differently. There are seven llamas which people can take for walks, they go down really well.
“We have a lot of weekend bookings, there is so much to do in Dumfries and Galloway.
The tours, which will be weather dependent, would be taken by Mr Jamieson and his friend Robert Sproat, 62, from Castle Douglas who are both experienced motorcyclists.
He said that he would need to think about costs, but estimates that a tour would cost in the region of POUNDS 50 for an hour.
Mr Jamieson said his two children, Robyn, 23 and Amy, 26, “think sidecars are quite cool”, but joked this has not always been the case.
He said: “The first time I went to pick Robyn up in the sidecar, she’d have been maybe 14 or 15. She was absolutely mortified.
“She spent the whole journey crouched down, with her head out of sight so no-one would see her!”
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