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Westminster City Council calls for Transport Bill ahead of King's Speech

Image credit: Westminster City Council

Westminster City Council is urging the Government to prioritise the much-needed Transport Bill as part of the legislative agenda. With the King's Speech scheduled for 7 November, the central London authority emphasises the importance of this bill in ensuring public safety and regulating various pressing issues that the Government has previously failed to address.

One key aspect that the council highlights is the need to licence all pedicabs with Transport for London (TfL), which will enable them to protect customers and regulate the number of pedicabs operating in the city. By providing identifiable information, similar to taxi licences, the council aims to enhance customer safety and prevent potential fraudulent activities.

Moreover, Westminster City Council advocates for additional powers for TfL to regulate pedicab costs. This measure seeks to prevent customers from being overcharged and protect them from exploitation.

Currently, the council's ability to address pedicab-related issues is limited to prosecuting noise and nuisance charges. Recent prosecutions under the Control of Pollution Act 1974 took place on 27 September at the City of Westminster Magistrates' Court. Three pedicab riders were fined amounts ranging from £765 to £1,175. These cases are part of a growing number awaiting court proceedings, and the total fines imposed so far have already reached almost £35,000.

Despite the council's best efforts, the absence of proper legislation significantly hampers their ability to protect the public from exorbitant fares and prevent unlicensed and unsafe pedicabs from exploiting unsuspecting tourists. City inspectors currently lack the necessary legal framework to address these concerns effectively.

Cllr Aicha Less, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Communities, Public Protection and Licensing, said: “It’s clear that the government have been freewheeling when it comes to providing proper legislation on pedicabs.

“Anyone who goes out in the West End can see how real the issue is, our city inspectors are trying to combat pedicabs with one hand tied behind their backs.

“We’ll continue to enforce what powers we have to take these rip-off rickshaws off the streets, but we need a Transport Bill in November with clearly defined legislation that gives more power to us and TfL.”


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