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Government to introduce law to control 'Wild West' of pedicabs in next session of Parliament: Secretary of State

The Government will introduce legislation in the next session of Parliament to regulate pedicabs or rickshaws, the Secretary of State for Transport, Grant Shapps, has said.

In an evidence session on the work of the Secretary of State, the chair of the Transport Committee, Huw Merriman MP, said: “We see a lot of [pedicabs or rickhaws] in London. They are not licensed or regulated, and there are real concerns about their safety. Are you able to commit to do something about that form of transport?”

In response Mr Shapps said: “Yes, I am. We will be introducing in the next Session a law to control what I think is the wild west of pedicabs or rickshaws, particularly in London where there isn’t legislation that accurately enables any type of proper licensing or control. I think it is high time. I know Parliament has expressed an interest, including through a series of Back-Bench Bills that, for one reason or another, or perhaps one person, have not proceeded through Parliament. We will do that on Government time in the transport Bill.”

The Queen’s Speech is due to take place on 10 May.

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Last month Westminster City Council successfully prosecuted three pedicab drivers under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 at the City of London Magistrates Court.

Fines, costs, and victim surcharges totalling £1,273 were issued to three individuals after they were found to have played excessively loud music late at night disturbing residents and businesses and having a negative impact on the health and well-being of residents, businesses and visitors, the council said.

It added that the fines were more than double the sums given in similar offences earlier in the year.

The council has been running joint operations with the Metropolitan Police in areas where riders are found to be causing the most issues including Covent Garden, Soho, Leicester Square, Chinatown, and Mayfair.

Since the operations began in November last year, more than 45 pedicab riders have been reported for prosecution and hundreds have been moved on for causing accessibility issues by blocking the pavement, the council said.

Commenting last month on the latest prosecutions, Raj Mistry, Executive Director of Environment and City for Westminster City Council said: “Pedicab operators have caused serious problems across Westminster for many years by playing loud music, not respecting the Highway Code, charging excessive fares and blocking pavements which cause considerable issues with accessibility.

“This judgment marks a significant change in the severity of fines and hopefully this pattern will continue as more cases are heard in court.”

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