Hit and run could spell end of Bognor Regis tuc tuc

Adie Smith supported by Bognor Mayor Jim Brooks''C111766-1 Bog Tuctuc Photo Louise Adams
Adie Smith supported by Bognor Mayor Jim Brooks''C111766-1 Bog Tuctuc Photo Louise Adams

Tuc tuc taxi owner Adie Smith faces being put out of business in Bognor Regis by a hit and run driver.

Adie has spent a month without working after the accident badly damaged his distinctive three-wheeler.

It will cost some £2,000 to repair the crumpled rear and damaged side of the vehicle. But he is struggling to find the cost which is outside his insurance cover.

Adie, 50, said: “That driver could put me out of work. I’ve had no income for a month so I can’t get the repairs started on the tuc tuc.

“I’ve also got the latest six monthly MOT due so I don’t know what I am going to do.”

Sudley Road resident Adie launched his unique business last summer after he had been jobless for two-and-a-half years from his previous driving job.

His distinctive vehicle has since become a familiar sight travelling around the Bognor area.

“I was just breaking even and starting to show a small profit,” he said.

“I could have upwards of 12 passengers a day during the week.

“I had started to build up a good regular trade and would also take visitors to Butlin’s on a tour of the town, which they absolutely loved.”

But the trade ended about midday on October 17 on the A29 Shripney Road.

Adie was going to pick up a passenger from the Caravan Club site on Rowan Way.

He became involved in a collision outside Bognor Motors where roadworks have restricted the traffic flow to a single lane of the dual carriageway for several weeks.

He claims a driver went into the back of his tuc tuc.

He went to speak to him but he pulled out and drove off and scraped the side of the tuc tuc as he passed it.

Adie phoned the police and, with the help of another motorist, managed to find the car but the driver escaped the immediate attentions of the police.

They tracked him down last week. Cllr Jim Brooks, Bognor’s town mayor, supported Adie at the launch of his business.

He said: “It’s such a shame what has happened to him. He put the business together himself and showed a real initiative to bring something to Bognor which is novel and an attraction.

“I hope he can find a solution to his problems.”