King’s Speech: Pedicabs bill welcomed by council - though regulation also needed for e-bikes and scooters
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Delivering the speech this morning (November 7), King Charles read that a bill will be introduced “to deal with the scourge of unlicensed pedicabs in London”.
Currently, pedicabs operate in a legal loophole in which they do not need to be licensed in the same way as other private hire vehicles, such as taxis.
The Pedicabs (London) Bill will give Transport for London (TfL) the powers to regulate the industry more effectively, something the Conservative MP for Cities of London and Westminster Nickie Aiken has been campaigning for for years.
Just last month, a spokesperson for Westminster City Council told LondonWorld how the local authority wanted to see a transport bill included in the King’s Speech, enabling it and TfL to limit the number of pedicabs and the fees they charge passengers.
As it stands, they said the council is limited to only prosecuting noise and nuisance charges, from which it has received almost £35,000 in fines.
Commenting on X following the speech, Ms Aiken posted her thanks to “everyone who has supported me to get this over the line”.
Cllr Adam Hug, leader of Westminster City Council, told LondonWorld he is disappointed nothing was included relating to e-bikes and scooters.
He said: “While we welcome the action on pedicabs, this is an issue which mainly affects tourists and leaves the wider problems caused by some e-bike and scooter riders unchallenged.
“There are up to 2,000 e-bikes in the borough at any given time and with no regulations around their hire, operation or ‘parking’, forcing disabled people, people with prams and other pedestrians problems walking in busy roads.
“While we have established a network of around 300 parking bays through negotiations with e-bike operators and have seized dangerously placed bikes, we are hamstrung by the lack of legislation (and subsequent regulation) to give us as the local authority and TfL the powers we need to give us enforcement options against e-bikes and scooter riders with real teeth.”
The King’s Speech is a key moment in the State Opening of Parliament. Marking the start of the parliamentary year, the speech is read out by the monarch though written by the government, laying out its agenda for the following 12 months.