Caithness Map :: Links to Site Map Great value Unlimited Broadband from an award winning provider  


Taxi Fares Held Level For Another 18 Months In Highland And Tuk Tuk Licence For Wick Refused

18th February 2020

Photograph of Taxi Fares Held Level For Another 18 Months In Highland And Tuk Tuk Licence For Wick Refused

Following a review taxi fares in Highland have been held at the same level by the Highland Council Licensing Committee held on 18 February 2019.

The papers and the debate on this issue can be seen at items six on the webcast -

There is a 14 Day period for appeal.


At the same meeting the committee at Item 7 were asked if they would licence a Tuk Tuk vehicle as private hire car after an application by a member of the public had asked. The application was from Mr Amin, Wick, Caithness. The application was refused by the committee.

The police objected and submitted a letter -

Dear Sir/Madam




I have been informed by the Highland Council that a Tuk-Tuk is currently being operated in Wick, and that the operator, Mr. Rehan Amin, wishes the vehicle to be licensed as a Taxi or Private Hire Vehicle.

I am aware that the operator has been informed by the Highland Council that the Tuk-Tuk does not meet the Council's specification with respect to its size, type and design. However, Mr. Amin has requested that the Licensing Committee consider a report that the Tuk-Tuk be considered suitable as a Taxi/Private Hire Vehicle.

I am of the opinion that the design and operation of a Tuk-Tuk deems it as an inappropriate and unsuitable vehicle to be used as a Taxi or Private Hire Vehicle, and on the grounds of public safety, I would object to any proposal to licence Tuk-Tuks by the Highland Council for this purpose.

I have consulted with Inspector Donald Mackinnon from the Roads Policing Department in the Highlands & Islands Division. He is also of the opinion that a Tuk-Tuk is not suitable for use as a Taxi or Private Hire Vehicle. He has provided the following response:

Taking into account the following considerations, I do not recommend Tuk-Tuk use for taxi/private hire business.


The Tuk-Tuk, also known as an Auto Rickshaw, is a motorised development of the traditional pulled or cycle rickshaw. The most common version comprises of a sheetmetal body or an open frame resting on three wheels. They have a canvas roof with drop down side curtains. There is normally a small cabin for the driver with handlebar controls, and another compartment in the rear for passengers. They are most popular in countries with tropical and sub-tropical climates and in particular, developing


Safety concerns

Some of the safety issues with the Tuk-Tuk are due to their type, size and design.

Due to the Tuk-Tuk having only 3 road wheels and a relatively short narrow wheel base, there are concerns regarding stability which is easily compromised whilst negotiating roundabouts and various corners within built-up/residential areas. If the Tuk-Tuk approached and attempted to negotiate these hazards at an inappropriate

speed, it would be susceptible to tipping over.

There is little protection afforded to the occupants of a Tuk-Tuk, with the only cover being a canvas roof in this case. Safety features are virtually non-existent with no airbags and no side protection other than the canvas or metal sheet. These are vital safety features that protect occupants of vehicles in road traffic collisions and in turn

reduce the number of casualties on our roads.

Tuk-Tuks are generally only fitted with lap belts due to their very compact nature, there is little room between the passengers and the vehicle extremities. Therefore if a Tuk-Tuk is involved in a road traffic collision, there is a greater potential for the occupants to be seriously injured or killed.

There is also a concern surrounding the lack of lighting on Tuk-Tuks which may make them difficult for other road users to see. Areas with limited or poor street lighting will increase the risk to the occupants.

Given the nature of the taxi/private hire business, some passengers/customers will be more vulnerable due to their age, size or demeanour. Some may be affected by alcohol and therefore are at a greater risk of falling from the Tuk-Tuk. Given the fact

that the top speed can reach in excess of 40mph, falling from the vehicle at this speed could have devastating consequences.

In addition, I understand that the operator intends to utilise his Tuk-Tuk on roads along the North Coast 500 route as a licensed taxi, and as such, I would also have concerns that the vehicle could cause obstructions on an already very busy road network due to its limited speed. This, in turn could potentially increase the risk of a road traffic accident.

I am also aware that a similar proposal was brought before the Licensing Committee in Dumfries & Galloway in 2019, which was refused by Committee members, and I would urge the Highland Council Licensing Committee to also refuse any application in relation to this proposal on the grounds of public safety, and the vehicle not being for purpose.

Should the Committee agree to the licensing of Tuk-Tuks as taxis or private hire vehicles, then any subsequent applications submitted for such vehicles to be licensed will be the subject of a police objection, on the grounds of public safety, and the vehicle not being fit for purpose.

Yours sincerely


Related Businesses


Related Articles

Change to waste and recycling services aims to protect staff
From Monday, a number of changes have been made in line with national guidance, to how we collect waste in order to protect staff, during the Coronavirus emergency.   To protect our staff, and prevent the spread of Coronavirus on our waste collection routes we have improved social distancing measures in line with guidance and in discussion with union reps.  
Highland Council To Provide School Meals Throughout Easter Break
Highland Council will continue to provide school meals through e-vouchers to families throughout the school Easter break.  This is to recognise the particular difficulties many families will be experiencing due to the Coronavirus emergency.  
Easter Childcare For Key Workers - Hubs to remain open over the spring break
Learning and childcare hubs for the children of key workers will remain open across Scotland over the Easter holidays.   The move will help support key workers in the NHS and other key sectors on the frontline of the response to coronavirus (COVID-19).  
Supporting Local Highland Businesses During Covid-19
The Highland Council is working hard to release business grants to eligible local businesses as quickly as possible.   The Council has received over 2,000 applications since the scheme was introduced last week and has set up systems to process these applications quickly while ensuring the necessary information is received.  
Busy First Week For Highland Council's Covid-19 Helpline
Since The Highland Council's dedicated helpline went live last Wednesday afternoon staff have dealt with over 1,600 calls.   The helpline has been set to give assistance and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support.  
Help available for Council Tax payers in Highland
Council tax payers in Highland who have lost their jobs or are experiencing a drop in their income are being encouraged to apply as quickly as possible for a reduction in their council tax.   This help, known as the ‘Council Tax Reduction Scheme', is available for lower income households, including home owners.  
Billing Pause For Business Rate Payers In Highland
Around 19,000 business rate payers in Highland will not receive their annual rates bill this April.   The Highland Council recognises the exceptional economic challenges for local business and has therefore decided to pause business rates bills in respect of financial year 2020/21.  
Shielding For The Extremely Vulnerable In Highland
What is 'shielding'? If you fall within one of the groups recommended to shield, you will have received a letter or text from the NHS.   Shielding is a measure to protect extremely vulnerable people by minimising contact between those who are extremely vulnerable and others.  
Stay At Home Guidance - Parks, Open Spaces And Public Toilets
During this time of restrictions it is important that we all stay active, for our physical health and mental well being.   Recreation outside is an important element of this, but it is essential that each of us practice good social distancing while outside.  
Highland Council Helpline Now Up And RunningThumbnail for article : Highland Council Helpline Now Up And Running
The Highland Council has launched a free helpline to give assistance and to collect details of individuals and community groups looking to provide volunteering support during Covid19.   The single line number - 0300 303 1362 - will connect callers to relevant Council specialist teams and will operate Monday to Friday from 8am to 6pm.  

[Printer Friendly Version]