I just heard about this as well and think it is really unfair! It's so typical Ilfracombe, every time someone tries to do something good for the town someone comes up with some bureaucratic nonsense to put a stop to it. The only thing I can think is that there is a taxi rank round by Adele's cafe next to the bus station but it would be dangerous for the Horse and Cart to stop on a blind corner, not to mention out of the way. I hate these stupid sorts of rules and regulations!
Why am I not surprised at anything that happens in this town!!! Do u ever see a traffic warden on the High Street? Do they move anyone on from outside Pedlars or Drapers? NO is the answer because those 2 people are too "powerful" for want of a better word in town!!! Get rid of the traffic wardens who are too pally with people in town and replace them with someone who will DO THE JOB!!!!!! It make my blood boil!!!!!!!!!!!!
If they had horse and carriage rides in Barnstaple no one would complain it's the same old story keep putting Ilfracombe down. One wonders if they will allow the cruise liners to dock in the harbour or will H & S get involved and the extra people will be too heavy for the pier ! !
itsus I've also noticed that Ilfracombe always seems to get a bum deal in comparison to Barnstaple. Sometimes you feel like the poor relative in this town, whenever anyone tries to do anything something always gets in the way and it all comes to nothing. I saw that the Horse and Cart was back the other day though? Hope this means good news!
I was told yesterday by the Licensing department that as they have have licensed my horse and cart as a hackney carriage i must work as a taxi and work from a taxi rank and cannot refuse a fare without good reason. They said it would be unreasonable to refuse a fare to anywhere in Ilfracombe, and if i do refuse i could be taken to court and prosecuted! When i said that it would be unsafe and not be possible to get to most places in Ilfracombe with a horse and carriage as there are so many hills and the horse would not be able to physically do this his response was "our legal department has said that tiredness is not a reasonable excuse to turn down a fare"! I really don't understand why we can't just carry on using the same route as has been used for over 20 years?! Think it could be time to go to the papers now! This could be a good headline 'Tiredness is no excuse!'
hi everyone, being a friend of the family i feel qualified enough to comment on this link and also know that steph appreciates all the support the positive people are giving her. some of you may also know there is an ilfracombe council forum page (which i have listed the link to at the bottom of this page) like this with a similar discussion going on buit unfortunately one councillor has seen fit to make out this is down to the fact that steph parks on double yellow lines and nothing else. the greatest irony of this being that said councillor is very well known for more of his mis givings than his good givings shall we say! as seen in the north devon journal on more than one occasion!!!! an just so you dont think im biased i have also had the pleasure or maybe the mis-pleasure of working closly with this councillor in a business sense so you could say i know him rather well too! and unfortunately that is the galling fact because steph is not trying to be a nuisance to the council she has tried to assist them all the way on this predicament to the extent of spending endless hours researching other parishes horse and carriage laws etc and giving viable reasons for the lack of alternative sites. so contrary to mr councillors statement on said other sites steph did accept the possibility of another site but that is unable to act on this due to licensing restrictions and other council related matters. steph is also very appreciative of the official people helping her with this situation including members of the towns tourism department and council.
This is one of the most ridiculous things I have ever heard. Why is it that whenever someone is doing something good in our town some health and safety or beaureaucratic killjoy has to come along and put a stop to it. Who is it that's said this? North Devon Council? Surely it is animal cruelty to treat a horse like a vehicle? It is an animal with feelings not a machine!!!!
As I seem to have been the subject of a bit of a dig on this page, it's only fair I point out what's been going on, and explain what I unbderstand.
There are two issues. The one I was referring to was that, strictly speaking, it is against the law to park on double yellow lines. I should know, I am a frequent customer of the wardens! Therefore, as the carriage is a hackney, it cannot just use double yellows as a 'base'. This was the first mstter raised with me, by a mutual friend of Steph and myself. I raised the matter with the Civic, and at that time Steph was offered a position either outside the Sandpiper, outside the Espresso, or even still outside the Yacht Club, but on the 'correct' side of the road (this offer still stands). In addition, another officer is looking into whether the road is wide enough near the present location to make a new 'berth' in that position. So allegations that 'nothing is being done' are not true and wide of the mark.
The second issue is the licencing issue. This, as I understand it, is being looked at closely after an accident at Arlington Court, after which, the council is making sure all 'i's' and 't's' are being crossed or dotted. I think the real answer to this is that the carriage will need a different licence or dispensation from VOSA and Devon County Council to continue to run in its present form. For one issue, I imagine charging more than a basic hackney carriage fare is illegal with a plate on the back? This will take time, however, I have received assurance that the carriage will continue to operate as before, and will receive no interference this year, allowing 10-11 months to sort all these issues out in time.
Finally, it does become a little irritating when people make wild and inaccurate allegations, then tell councillors to get off their backsides, when some of us are already off our backsides, and indeed have been for some time.
I would just like to clarify a few points made by Paul that aren't entirely correct. With regards to being 'offered' 3 alternate places to park, this in untrue. I have had meetings and discussions with various council members about alternate spots but each have not proved useable. When we looked at the spot outside the Espresso this was also marked as 'no parking' so they said they would have to get this changed before i could park there. Another problem with that spot is that it is used most weekends for car boot sales and various other events. The spot outside the sandpiper would be impossible to get a horse and carriage inside the taxi box facing the way of the traffic as it is on a corner. This spot is also often taken up by taxis. As many people don't understand, you cannot reverse a 4 wheeled horse and carriage. With regards to me being offered a spot outside the Yacht club, i have not heard any mention of this offer! I can't see how this would be the right side of the road or make any difference to where i park now as this is also marked with double yellow lines and a loading only bay?!
The point made about it being illegal for me to charge more than the basic Hackney Carriage would also be incorrect. If anyone was to read the licensing rules for a horsedrawn hackney carriage they would see it says that the fares i charge must be approved by the council.I even had to point this out to the licensing officer as he hadn't seen it. When i first applied for a licence 7 years ago they asked me for my proposed route and fares. I gave them this in writing and also stated the route would be exactly the same as what the gentleman had been doing for the 13+ years previously.I still have a copy of my original application which shows the proposed route with my pick up point marked. I even had a conversation with a member from the licensing department 2 years ago about putting me a box where i park but i was told just to carry on as it would be too long a process to go through.
After the Accident at Arlington Court safety became more of an issue, so it was stated in my rules that i must ensure customers can enter and exit the carriage safely. This is one of the main points i have been trying to raise, i need to be parked somewhere where i can ensure i can secure the horse so customers can get in and out safely.
The thing that baffles me the most is that 'Why' after over 20 years of the council granting a licence and knowing that we only give rides, have always worked from that spot (i have been visited there by members of the licensing dept in previous years about other matters), and do not work as a taxi, have they decided to come up with all these problems? Each time i have had a meeting with various council members about finding an alternative suitable position, each time we have come to the conclusion that where i park now is the most suitable and practical spot. There is a bar which i can tie the horse to and when i am parked there the road is still wide enough for two lorries to pass (unless someone is illegally parked on the keep clear sign opposite).
I have not been formally told that i can continue for the season by the council, i have just heard it on the grapevine. It would be nice to have something in writing as it's not nice to have your business threatened and not knowing where you stand!
I would like to say that i have had a huge amoun't of support and help from many members of the Town council and tourism department and also NDC and would like to thank them. I really hope this matter is resolved soon otherwise there may not be any more trotting. Steph
Just thought i'd put an update on here. I have heard back from DCC Highways legal department and they say that legally they cannot issue a parking ticket to a horse and carriage as it is non motorised vehicle. They have given this to me in writing and said there is no reason why i cant continue parking there. Maybe the idiotic traffic warden that started all this should have found out what the law was on this before he went and made himself and the rest of the people involved look stupid. Was nice to find out which traffic warden it was tho that took the picture to his boss and started all this trouble, especially as it was someone i knew, he even admitted it when i confronted him! Maybe i should name and shame lol