London council approves £1,000 fines for nuisance pedicab drivers

Pic: Dutch Simba

Pedicab operators who play loud music, make too much noise when touting for business or ride dangerously could face fines of up to £1,000 under measures approved by one London borough.

Camden Council has agreed to issue fixed penalty notices of £100 to nuisance drivers of pedicabs, pedal-operated rickshaws used as taxis, under a Public Spaces Protection Order covering specified times and locations. Failure to pay could result in a conviction and maximum penalty of £1,000.

Cllr Jonathan Simpson, cabinet member for community safety, said residents have complained of "significant and recurring" problems with pedicabs, particularly involving noise disturbance late at night and early in the morning.

People who use pedicabs at these times are often unknowingly getting into an unlicensed vehicle and as a result could be making themselves vulnerable, the council added.

"Become of the ongoing problem and the fact that previous repeated attempts to regulate the pedicab industry have been unsuccessful, we invited views about how we should tackle the issue," Cllr Simpson said.

"Out of 676 responses, 69 per cent of respondents had experienced anti-social behaviour associated with pedicabs and 73 per cent were in support of the proposal to introduce a PSPO to tackle the problem."

The London Pedicab Operators Association, a voluntary body established in 1998 that has developed a Code of Practice for the industry and a Code of Conduct for drivers, has said pedicabs are popular with Londoners and tourists alike, and have created hundreds of sustainable employment opportunities.