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Mayor Boris Johnson ‘seeking to ban’ rickshaws from the West End over safety fears

8Boris Johnson has announced he wants to crack down on “unsafe” rickshaws in central London.

The Mayor of London said he is seeking new powers to regulate pedicabs – the official name for the vehicles – because they clog up roads in the West End and are potentially unsafe.
Mr Johnson declared his ambition after pledging to cap the number of minicabs in London, to ease congestion and protect the capital’s iconic black taxis.
He said: “We will also be seeking powers for TfL over pedicabs – which so far have been completely immune from regulation.
“These vehicles jam up the roads and consistently fail to ensure the safety of their passengers.”
Some commentators claimed Mr Johnson is seeking to ban rickshaws altogether.
Currently, pedicabs are not regulated in London so the mayor is pushing for government legislation to give him new powers.
Black taxi groups have previously gone to the courts in an effort to get them banned.
The London Pedicab Operators Association says there are 650 rickshaws on the streets of London.
Labour London Assembly member Val Shawcross agreed that regulation was needed, though she said a blanket ban would be “a step too far”.
She told “What is needed is a much greater level of control, with just a limited number of licences given to operate for tourists in a small number of safe locations.
“If Londoners want to use them for their personal use that is their choice, but let’s be clear that rickshaws should not be operating as taxis.”