Westminster City Council have launched a new information campaign to warn residents and visitors about the dangers of using pedicabs in Central London. This comes after £17,375 worth of fines being issued since November 2021.
In partnership with the Metropolitan Police, the Council now conduct monthly operations around Oxford Street, Covent Garden, Soho and the West End to crackdown on nuisance pedicab operators.
Despite currently having limited powers to enforce the riders, in the last year, they took details from 62 operators for playing overly loud music after 9pm. 22 pedicab cases have now been heard in court resulting in over £17,000 worth of fines, costs and victim surcharges being handed out. Additionally, 27 riders have been served with written warnings for their behaviour.
The Council is continuing to work with partners at the Department for Transport and TfL to discuss how regulation should be shaped. This will ensure powers are available to officers to focus on other issues, in addition to noise.
Now, the next stage in the local authority’s campaign is partnering with the Metropolitan Police and local businesses to warn visitors and residents about the dangers with posters, leaflets, and infographics.
The educational campaign has been launched to warn visitors to “be careful what you get into” helping to underline how unsafe they are. Pedicabs are now proven to charge excessive fares, ignore the Highway Code, block pavements and have little or no safety specifications.
After working closely with businesses, signage with be focused in hotspot areas and encourages people to use licensed methods of transport such as buses, black cabs or the London underground.
City inspectors and police officers will also be given leaflets to share with residents and visitors as well as stakeholders being given information packs and encouraged to share the posters on social media.
Westminster City Council will continue to work with the police and use their existing powers to ensure that residents and visitors can enjoy Westminster safely.
Councillor Aicha Less, Deputy Leader, Cabinet Leader for Communities and Public Protection said:
I am proud of our continued partnerships with the Metropolitan Police and local businesses in tackling nuisance pedicabs, we have worked incredibly hard to tackle the issue despite having limited powers.
We want to encourage residents and visitors to use licensed forms of transport in order to travel safely around Westminster. This informational campaign will now reach a wider audience warning people about the excessive fares and dangers of using unlicensed rickshaws.
Simon Crew, Chief Inspector for Neighbourhoods & Royal Parks, Central West, Metropolitan Police said:
Nuisance caused by Pedicabs has a significant detrimental impact to the local businesses and residents in the West End. We are committed to tackling this issue and will continue to work closely in partnership with the Council and local businesses.
Simon Thomas, Executive Chairman, Hippodrome Casino said:
It’s a decisive move by Westminster City Council and fully applauded by the West End business community. For too long pedicab riders have been ripping off and endangering visitors to central London. The public need to be warned and this initiative will help do that.
Published: 26 October 2022