Calls for Rickshaws to be Licensed

Local councils say rickshaw drivers should face the same regulations as London's black cabs.

Councils say drivers of rickshaws, party buses and limousines should be subjected to universal criminal records checks to combat safety fears.

The Local Government Association warns that current legislation is "confusing" and "utterly outdated" for speciality and novelty vehicles.

It is calling for such vehicles and their drivers to come under the same scrutiny as London Black Cabs, which are vetted for safety and criminal records.

This would involve bringing all vehicles such as limousines, party buses and rickshaws under a single licensing scheme.

The move would also allow councils to ban rip-off operators and tackle concerns that some rickshaws in the capital are unsafe because they are not regulated and inspected, the LGA say.

Last month, a rickshaw driver was caught on camera apparently trying to charge tourists £206 for a mile-long trip from Oxford Circus to Marble Arch.

A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: "The Mayor has serious concerns about the pedicab trade and is lobbying the Government for new legislation that would give Transport for London powers to regulate them, powers they don't legally possess at the moment."

Friedel Schroder from Bugbugs Media Ltd, a non-profit social enterprise which operates pedicabs, told Heart making changes to the industry based on "a few bad apples" would be "ridiculous".

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