October 1, 2013
I have enormous sympathy with residents in the West End and beyond who detest the noise and disruption caused by unlicensed pedicabs.
A few years ago I tabled a debate in parliament, pressing the previous government to do something to control pedicabs. Unfortunately the Department for Transport resisted calls for regulation so I instead continued my contact with Westminster City Council and the local police to try to get existing parking and traffic regulations enforced.
We were still keen to get legislation to control the non-motorised vehicles, however, so when I was successful in the Private Member’s Bill ballot in the last parliament, I decided to use the opportunity to put down a Pedicabs Bill. I did this with the help of Westminster City Council who assisted in its drafting.
Unfortunately as I was low down in the ballot, the Bill was unlikely ever to have made it through parliament, particularly as the session was cut short by the General Election. The legislation therefore got dropped when the last parliament ended.
The Law Commission has since been asked by government to conduct a review of taxi and private hire services and we want them to bring pedicabs into the scope of licensing. Positively, in their interim guidance released in April, the Commission advised ‘Pedicabs and stretch limousines are two examples that we recommend bringing clearly within the scope of taxi and private hire regulation, such that they may be controlled as necessary.’
I have written to them to support that position and paste below links to that correspondence for constituents’ information.