€1,900 fine for cycle taxis if they break rules

Cormac Murphy

THEY'RE loved by weary shoppers and tourists but Dublin's cycle taxis are about to feel the long arm of the law on their shoulders.

Drivers and operators will have to pay fines of up to €1,900 for contravening proposed new regulations.

If they want to continue ferrying shoppers, they will be forced to apply for a licence and driver's permit -- at a cost of €60 a year.

The planned rules are contained in Dublin City Council's Draft Bye-Laws for Control of Pedal Cycles.

Licences will only be granted when the fee is paid and the local authority is satisfied the operator will comply with the bye-laws.

One of the capital's most popular operators, EcoCabs, provides a free service, taking passengers short distances throughout the city.

And far from being concerned about the regulations, co-founder Andrew Casey welcomes the move. "We have been pushing for the regulation since we started," he told the Herald.

He said the laws will help to "establish the future of this type of transport" by putting it on a proper regulatory footing.

Mr Casey pointed out EcoCabs operates during the day and that the new rules will be primarily aimed at independent night-time operators.