Scottish tuk-tuk taxi service raises serious safety concerns

Theautorick could now pave its way onto roads in Southern Scotland, if the licence request is approved by the council.
Theautorick could now pave its way onto roads in Southern Scotland, if the licence request is approved by the council.
Share this article
0
Have your say

A tuk-tuk taxi service in Dumfries and Galloway has led concerns from the local council and police service.

The Dumfries and Galloway Council received an inquiry relating to the application for a licence by a possible tuk-tuk taxi service, which has raised police safety concerns.

Responding to the report sent to the local authority's licensing panel, the police expressed fears over the lack of doors in the three-wheeled vehicle alongside fears of the motor tipping over at roundabouts or when taking sharp turns due to its design.

The panel is asked to decide whether the tuk-tuk, which has the basic construction of a motor-cycle and is built on an open frame, is suitable to be used as a taxi or private hire.

Traditionally used in countries with warmer climates, the tuk-tuk, or auto rickshaw as it is known in India, is named after the sound the stuttering engine makes.

READ MORE: Thousands to hit Scottish streets today for 'largest ever' climate change protests

In the early 2000s, tuk-tuks made their debut in London, where the vehicle used as a taxi prompted backlash from lack-cab drivers who argued this form of "third world" transport was unsuitable in the busy capital, and should be considered death traps.

The autorick could now pave its way onto roads in Southern Scotland, if the lcience request is approved by the council.

However, with a maximum speed of 40 mph, those opposing its introduction argue it could increase the risk of accidents and obstruct other vehicles on rural roads.

The vehicle has no airbags built in and police has argued the lack of protection systems would present a significant risk of injury or worse to any occupants.