New rules to put the brakes on nuisance pedicabs

Central London streets are set to be safer and calmer with new laws to end the blight of unlicensed pedicabs in London passing Third Reading in the House of Commons and completing their parliamentary passage today (26 March).

The Pedicabs (London) Bill gives Transport for London (TfL) powers to crack down on rogue pedicab drivers by regulating fares and improving safety standards – bringing the industry into line with other forms of transport in the capital.

The Bill, which is set to receive Royal Assent in the coming weeks, aims to close a legal loophole which has meant the industry in London is not regulated, exposing some customers – including tourists – to eyewatering fares, dangerous driving and antisocial behaviour on the city’s streets.

Through the new law, TfL will be able to decide when, where, and how many pedicabs can operate, to ensure they don’t cause a hazard to pedestrians and other motorists. Drivers in breach of this legislation could face having their license revoked, their pedicab confiscated or a fine of up to £2500.

Roads and Local Transport Minister Guy Opperman said:

“For too long, rogue pedicabs have taken advantage of the lack of rules around fares and licensing, so we’re taking action to close that loophole.

“We know this issue has caused real concerns about the impact on safety and traffic, from clogging up bus lanes to blaring loud music, and this common-sense law will help to put businesses at ease and end the chaos in hotspots like Soho and Covent Garden.”

The Pedicabs (London) Bill will enable TfL to regulate London’s pedicabs and protect passengers by:

Conferring powers on TfL to bring forward a licensing regime for pedicabs, in a similar way to local authorities throughout the rest of England and Wales.
Providing TfL with the ability to introduce fare control to combat overcharging on pedicab services and protect consumers from being ripped off.
Allowing TfL to set standards for operators, drivers, and their vehicles to improve the safety of pedicabs, as well as introducing insurance requirements and ensuring vehicles are road worthy.
Ensuring that pedicab drivers undergo criminal record and right to work checks before being allowed to carry passengers in the same way that drivers of taxis and private hire vehicles must do, allowing passengers to use pedicabs with confidence and cutting crime.
Giving TfL powers to take steps to improve congestion and tackle issues such as highways obstruction. TfL will be able to restrict the presence of pedicabs in certain areas, at certain times. This will help improve road safety and traffic-related issues in central London.
Enabling enforcement action against those operating without a licence or outside their licence conditions, including civil sanctions and criminal offences.Since being introduced, it has received widespread support in both Houses, as well as from businesses across London.
Ros Morgan, Chief Executive of Heart of London Business Alliance, said:

“We are delighted to see the Pedicabs Bill take its final steps towards becoming law today. Without regulation, pedicabs have been a menace to London. With regulation, they could prove to be a safe and environmental means of travel. We look forward to working with TfL, who will enforce the regulations, to ensure that the scheme works for the capital.”