Trishaws – The Verdict

This article was published in 1997, in Newsletter 15.

Looking back through our folder of Press Cuttings, Cambridge Trishaws have been one of the hottest topics this summer. And much of the coverage has been very positive, with a lot of public support for the scheme, despite enormous antagonism from the Cambridge Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association.

There’s been much concern about whether the business could be viable, with the threat of many absurd extra conditions and regulations.

We wrote to the City Council’s Environment Committee, who were due to consider whether to renew the trishaw license for next year. We said that the trishaws, as an eminently sustainable mode of transport, should be encouraged in every way possible, and not entangled in red tape.

In the end, as the Evening News reported on 11 November, all three parties on the Environment Committee recommended paring the restrictions down to a minimum.

From next year, the trishaws will be allowed to operate throughout the city, 24 hours a day, with no limit imposed on the number of trishaws operating. Drivers won’t be forced to wear helmets, nor will there be a blanket restriction on the number of passengers per vehicle. (Simon Lane, Managing Director of Cambridge Trishaws, has been keen to point out he chose the very make of trishaw that’s been carrying three passengers in hilly San Francisco for many years.)

We salute the Environment Committee’s decision to allow the trishaws to operate on a level playing field next year!