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Lancaster City Council set to ask residents and taxi industry whether it should allow pedicabs



Lancaster City Council are to consult residents and the taxi industry whether it should allow pedicabs to operate between Morecambe’s Midland Hotel and Whinnysty Lane in Heysham.


The proposed pedicab service may also extend to the road between the Midland Hotel and Happy Mount Park.

At a recent licensing committee meeting, the Licensing Manager presented a report on an application to license a pedicab as a hackney carriage vehicle.


The Committee was advised that under Section 80 of the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, pedicabs could not be classed as private hire vehicles, therefore they must be licensed as hackney carriages.


During discussions on 9 June the consequences of pedicabs being classified as hackney carriages were highlighted. It was noted that there were many difficulties in transposing hackney carriage regulations to apply equally for pedicabs.


From research many local authorities had simply said ‘no’ to granting licences or giving up on the basis that it was too difficult to achieve.

According to committee meeting minute notes, members were advised that should they wish to grant the application to licence the pedicab as a hackney carriage they would need to consider, among other things;

  • Current limitations on numbers of hackney carriage licences.

  • An alternative table of fares for non-motorised hackney carriages such as pedicabs.

  • Permitted use of the promenade and permissions for use on the public highway.

  • Appropriate licensing standards for riders/drivers.

  • Safety and comfort considerations, including and testing arrangements.


After much debate It was agreed that the application be accepted in principle, but on the condition for a planned public consultation, to be provided at the next meeting.


What are the new pedicab rules in London?

The Government look set to bring in new laws to crack down on unlicensed rickshaws in central London.


Despite a Private Member’s Bill failing, the Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, announced that a Government sponsored Rickshaw Bill that featured in the Queen’s Speech session of Parliament.


A longstanding loophole which governs taxis and private hire vehicles allows pedicabs to operate without licences.


In the capital, Westminster City Council used anti-nuisance laws to prosecute rickshaw drivers. The rickshaws, often seen with flashing disco lights and sounding out loud music, are regularly in the West End targeting tourists, shoppers and theatre-goers.


Three rickshaw operators were recently handed fines worth more than £1,200 for playing excessively loud music late at night after a joint operation involving the council and the Met Police.


New regulations placed on pedicabs are likely to require DBS checks on riders. There could also be new operator licensing for the rickshaw rental firms, with a ban on sound systems and electrical assistance. Specific safety standards placed on the pedicabs would also be introduced and most interestingly set fares are likely to push people away from working pedicabs.

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