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Dec 06, 2019 / 18:21

Hanoi considers banning cyclos to reduce traffic congestion

To this day, cyclos are still used in pre-wedding ceremonies and take visitors on tour around Hanoi's Old Quarter.

Hanoi is considering a scheme to ban three-wheeled vehicles, including cyclos, to cope with its rising traffic jams and accidents.

 Illustrative photo. 

The proposal was put forth in a report by the Hanoi People’s Committee on the scheme “Enhancing transportation management to reduce traffic jams and pollution in the period of 2017-2020, vision to 2030”.

The three-wheeled vehicles driven by invalid and disabled people must be registered, environment-friendly and meet the technical safety standards.

Prior to submitting the proposal, the Hanoi Department of Transport had consulted other relevant departments and agencies to assess the social, economic and tourist impacts of the possible ban.

Hanoi’s Traffic Police said that they have licensed over 100 cyclos operated by some travel agencies. However, the number of unlicensed vehicles is four times that number due to the increasing demand for cyclo tours. There are around 400 cyclos circulating around the Hoan Kiem Lake and the Old Quarter looking for clients and hindering traffic at the same time.

However, some tour operators in Hanoi disagreed with the potential ban on cyclos and considered the vehicles a cultural trait of the city. In the old times, cyclos in Hanoi were used for multiple purposes, from passenger transport to freight delivery. Nowadays, it is still used in pre-wedding ceremonies. Currently, cyclos are used for taking visitors on a Hanoi tour.

According to Nguyen Thu Thuy from the Tourism Faculty of The University of Social Sciences and Humanities, some countries in Southeast Asia still keep their ages-old non-motorized vehicles to promote the tourism, such as the Tuk-tuk of Thailand.

“I think cyclos are suitable for short trips around the Old Quarter. As the area has become touristy, the traditional vehicles like cyclos are a more convenient means of transport,” Thuy said.

However, she recommended that the prices for cyclo tours should be expressly quoted to avoid scams.