Home Estate Planning MPs warned about dangerous Pedicab drivers ahead of new licensing regime

MPs warned about dangerous Pedicab drivers ahead of new licensing regime

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MPs were warned yesterday about allegedly dangerous pedicab drivers as the government looks to regulate the controversial mode of transport.

New legislation to regulate the unofficial vehicles was debated by members in the House of Commons yesterday as the government seeks to bring in a licensing regime.

Nickie Aiken, MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, said her experience was like “groundhog day” as she had attempted to convince MPs to take action at least three times.

Aiken, who has confirmed she plans to step down at the next general election, warned that pedicab drivers “poor track record for exploiting London’s tourists” and stressed: “Drivers and vehicles must be safe and there have been too many instances… [where] we have found divers who are unfit to be taking passengers.”

And Aiken alleged: “Whether they are wanted for serious crimes, whether its sexual violence crimes – I think one person I believe was actually found wanted for murder.”

But the Conservative deputy chairman added: “This bill does not and will not propose to ban pedicabs from London. It is about improving the conditions for drivers and passengers.

“I firmly believe that if we have properly regulated pedicabs they could offer a very positive and special visitor experience.”

Labour MP for Vauxhall Florence Eshalomi said the “unregulated situation is creating risk to passengers and the road network”, adding “someone getting into a pedicab has no idea what they’re getting into”.

“I’ve had constituents complain about the music from pedicabs and the noise nuisance in residential areas. We should also look at the working conditions of those drivers,” she said.

And Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney, for Richmond Park, added that she was concerned about those who use pedicabs as transport in areas where London is closed to motor traffic. She called for a licensed “pedicab service” to be put in place to help people cross Hammersmith Bridge, which has been closed to traffic for close to five years.

But Conservative MP Christopher Chope criticised ministers for choosing to allocate “prime time on a Wednesday to discuss the burning issue of pedicabs”.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak first announced plans to tackle the “scourge” of unlicensed pedicabs on London’s streets in the King’s Speech in November, which was welcomed by Aiken and former minister for London, Paul Scully.

The legislation, which began in the House of Lords, will now progress to its Commons committee stage.

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