July 29, 2020 1.30 pm This story is over 40 months old

Tuk Tuk firm still hoping to move some summer trade

Initial licence decision was delayed by pandemic

The owners of a new Tuk Tuk taxi tour planned for Lincoln are still hoping to make a go of their new venture this summer, should a licence be granted next week.

Holla, which plans to offer pre-bookable rides going up and down the city centre, is due to appear before the City of Lincoln Council licensing committee on Tuesday.

It had hoped to open in April, however, the coronavirus pandemic saw the country locked down the week before the licence was initially due to be reviewed.

If approved, owner Christine Kimbrell, says she is hoping they may still be able to take advantage of the last few weeks of summer to test the water, but would still need to find and employ a driver.

If not, then the service’s start will be pushed back to April 2021 at the latest.

“We’re in quite a stable position so once we have got the licence, we’re ready to go,” she said.

“Unfortunately, COVID struck at a bad time for this company. We’d like to do it this summer but it could be we’ve missed the boat for this year.”

The first driver, if opened this year, would initially be hired on a three-month contract.

Some licensing councillors met with the owners yesterday to see the vehicle in person, but the meeting itself will be held virtually.

Christine said those who attended seemed positive.

Inside the Tuk Tuk. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

A report before members next week says approval of the license would depart from several policies and asks councillors to explain their decision if they approve it.

Some concerns have been raised about the weight and suitability of the vehicle, particularly when driving up or stopping on the hill.

However, Christine said the vehicle had been tested and was “completely road worthy”, very safe and used in many other places including Cornwall, Manchester, Blackpool and Brighton.

“It’s a great vehicle for Lincoln, for tourists and for getting up and down the hill,” she said, adding it was about the novelty factor.

Other concerns have included the fuel use of the vehicle and the owners have outlined plans to buy an electric version should the venture prove successful.

Holla Tuk Tuk was hoped to initially operate seasonally between April and October half-term. Photo: Steve Smailes for The Lincolnite

The Tuk Tuk owners have listed several stops for routes to travel between, they are:

  • Castle Hotel, Westgate
  • Train Station, St Mary’s Street
  • Tower Hotel, Westgate
  • White Hart Hotel, Bailgate
  • Drury Lane
  • St Martins Lane
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Lincoln, Brayford Wharf North