Rickshaws and horse-drawn carriages will have to operate under new laws passed by City Hall this week. However the location for the horse and carriage set down and hiring stand has yet to be fully decided.
At Monday’s city council meeting, councillors passed the Non-Motorised Passenger Transporter Bylaws 2010 which deal with the operations of rickshaws and horse-drawn carriages in the city.
Under the new laws, rickshaw and carriage operators must have public liability insurance cover of €2.6 million, with an approved insurance company.
Rickshaws will operate on the public roads only and not on paths and pedestrianised areas, except between 10pm and 3am. Carriages and hackneys cannot go through Kennedy Park in Eyre Square or on the Salthill Promenade.
The permitted number of passengers in a rickshaw shall be three adults while both rickshaws and carriages have to display their fares.
Rickshaw set-down and hiring stands will be located at Eyre Square; the Fishmarket, Spanish Arch; and Salthill on a 24-hour basis. From 10pm to 3am the use of William Street West and Eyre Square West is permitted. Horse and hackney carriages can operate from the Fishmarket on a 24-hour basis.
The new by-laws were passed by councillors, however Cllr Brian Walsh raised concerns regarding horse and carriage operators.
Cllr Walsh said he was contacted by one man who had “invested heavily” in his business this year and that “under these laws” he would not be able to operate from out of Eyre Square and that this will have a “detrimental effect” on his business.
“Galway is heavily reliant on the tourist industry,” he said, “ and horse and carriages are an attractive means visitors use to take a trip around the city. I would like some provision in the by-laws to allow carriages pick up passengers in Eyre Square.”
Council officials agreed to have a look at the Eyre Square area again and see if it was possible to facilitate Cllr Walsh’s proposal.