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‘Wild West’ cycle rickshaws face crackdown as new law passes

A new law regulating cycle rickshaws – or pedicabs – in London will “end the chaos in hotspots like Soho and Covent Garden”, the government has said, with penalties for those who break the law including a fine of up to £2,500.

Pedicabs are currently the only form of unregulated transport on the capital’s roads, but the new bill will enable Transport for London (TfL) to enforce safety standards and fare caps amid reports of customers being charged eyewatering amounts.

There have been ongoing reports of tourists in London being charged a staggering amount for minutes-long rides, including a Belgian tourist who told the BBC she was charged £450 for a seven-minute pedicab trip in July last year.

When she complained about the extortionate amount, she said she felt threatened by the driver.

Another tourist was charged £500 after taking a pedicab from Mayfair to Soho during a night out in 2022, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS).

Conservative MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, Nickie Aiken, told MPs last month that parts of her constituency become like the “Wild West End at times” because of the unregulated cycle rickshaws.

Speaking about the passage of the Pedicabs (London) Bill, roads and local transport minister Guy Opperman said the unregulated industry had caused “real concerns” about safety.

“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,” he said.

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“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.”

Drivers who fail to abide by the new rules could face having their license revoked, their pedicab confiscated or a fine of up to £2,500.

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Ros Morgan, chief executive of Heart of London Business Alliance, welcomed the new law saying: “Without regulation, pedicabs have been a menace to London.

“With regulation, they could prove to be a safe and environmental means of travel.”

Sky News Source