Pedicabs have long been a bone of contention for people living in near Central London’s tourist hotspots. Although great fun for many of the people that use them, a large number of local people have complained to me and to local Councillors about the problems pedicabs cause. These concerns include:
- Playing loud music that can be heard several streets away, sometimes until late at night.
- Local traffic congestion, particularly in Marylebone and the West End.
- The high prices Pedicabs charge, which are not always clearly displayed.
- Pedicabs lack of insurance, leaving passengers and other road users without protection if they are unlucky enough to be in an accident involving one.
- Blocking pavements while they are parked up waiting for fares, which are often already heaving with pedestrians.
- Drivers aggressively touting for business from passers-by.
As things stand there is very little that either me or local Councillors can do to resolve these issues.
This is because pedicabs are exempt from the regulations that cover taxi and private hire services. Pedicabs for example do not need a licence to operate and are allowed to set their own prices. Pedicabs are also not subject to any official checks on the safety and ability of their drivers nor the road worthiness of vehicles, unlike black cabs and private hire taxis.
Greater regulation, to bring pedicabs in line with taxi and private hire services, would help resolve many of the concerns people have about the growth of pedicab use in the capital.
As Member of Parliament for the Two Cities, I have been working with parliamentary colleagues to introduce more regulation in this sector.
I plan to put forward a 10-minute rule bill, which if it is passed into law, would bring pedicabs in line with taxis and private hire services. Like them, drivers would need a licence from Transport for London (TfL) to operate, TfL would be given the power to regulate the prices they charge and the vehicles they use would have be of a safe standard. It’s not about removing all pedicabs from our streets but ensuring that they operate in a safer way for everyone.
If you support this change, and want regulation please show your support by signing your name below, and encouraging friends and neighbours to do likewise.