From Bombay to Brighton - tuk tuks introduced to the UK to ease traffic

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The Independent Online

The tuk-tuk, ubiquitous in Asian cities from Bombay to Bangkok, has arrived on British shores. The three-wheeled motorised rickshaws, named after their spluttering two-stroke engines, took to the streets of Brighton yesterday.

If the fleet of 12 vehicles, which pick up passengers along set routes, prove popular, then tuk-tuks will be introduced in London from May next year.

There are also plans for fleets in Bristol, Edinburgh and Birmingham.

The executive director of TucTuc Ltd, Dominic Ponniah, 26, was travelling in a tuk-tuk in Delhi when he decided the rickshaws would be an asset to this country.

"The streets of Delhi are as congested as our roads, but instead of being blocked with bendy buses, a tuk-tuk can nip in and out of traffic," he said.

He said that the vehicles have been modified to make them safe and environmentally friendly. Each tuk-tuk takes up to three people and uses the equivalent of 50 miles per gallon.

But Bob Oddie, General Secretary of Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, believes the vehicles will not be as safe as taxis or buses.