A rickshaw thing for Swansea?
ON a rainy, blustery day in the Amman Valley it’s hard to imagine a lazy sun-kissed ride through Swansea city centre.
But here we are. Enthusiastic and enterprising businessmen Dave Hopkin and Darryl Griffiths have spent the past 12 months bringing their Rickshaw PediPower plan to fruition.
But who could resist a preview ride on one of the three-wheeled carriages through the streets of Llandybie?
First things first, you wouldn’t want me responsible for one. Perhaps it’s due to my driving ineptness (failed my test three times) or my general lack of ability but I couldn’t get the contraption to go in even a vaguely straight line.
I spent five minutes literally going round in circles, unable to manoeuvre it with any sort of skill whatsoever.
On to more positive matters. After it was decided I most probably wasn’t competent enough to take it out on the road, I was given the full VIP treatment. From the very start it was clear the boys have done a grand job — and had done no small amount of hard work — to get the Rickshaws up to scratch.
LED lights, comfy seating, and even a cover to keep the rain off, ensured the short journey was well worth it.
Best of all was the response from onlookers.
The reaction from the general public was fantastic, with schoolchildren waving at us as we went and even running alongside to catch a glimpse.
And that reaction sums up why it’s a great idea for Swansea. There is a brilliant novelty value to the Rickshaws and their presence in the city would certainly bring smiles to many faces.
The plan was approved in principle by Swansea Council last September in the belief they could be licensed for use as Hackney Carriages.
But now the Law Commission is currently drawing up a report, due to be published towards the end of the year, which would recommend guidelines for the licensing of rickshaws and limousines.
Mr Griffiths said: “We are waiting for the national legislation now, so we are looking at next year, when we should get a licence.
“In the meantime we will be looking at other avenues and thinking of new ideas.
“We have had nothing bust positive comments about it,” he said,
Mr Hopkin, who also runs the Dragon’s Den burger van in Pontardawe Retail Park added: “It has been one issue after another. It would create jobs and it would be eco-friendly.”