Clause 1 - Power to regulate pedicabs

Part of Pedicabs (London) Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 2:51 pm on 26 March 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Christopher Chope Christopher Chope Conservative, Christchurch 2:51, 26 March 2024

I hear what my hon. Friend says, but the draft regulations have been changed to take into account the discussions on the Bill in the other place. As she confirms, a document existed in 2022 yet, when I tabled a parliamentary question to the Minister asking for the draft regulations to be made available, I was told that they were not available. It is important that draft regulations are shared with all legislators and are not the subject of private meetings.

I am sure my hon. Friend Nickie Aiken is as eager as anybody to ensure that Transport for London’s intentions are explored so that we can be sure that it genuinely wants to retain the benefits of having a lively and vibrant pedicab industry in London. I will address the content we have now seen in the potential licensing framework for pedicabs in London, because I do not think it will excite much support from people who are keen to defend the interests of genuine pedicab operators.

There is an issue with the ability of pedicabs to lawfully ply for hire in London. When people think of pedicabs, they think of going up to the driver of a stationary pedicab on the side of a London street and asking for a ride. I am not aware of any statement from the Government suggesting that they believe that pedicabs should not be lawfully available to ply for hire yet, when one looks at the draft regulations, one can see that Transport for London is raising the question of whether or not pedicabs should continue to be able to lawfully ply for hire.

I come to another area of concern. Currently, there is no regulation of fares for private hire vehicles, and for good reason. As the document sets out, we do not have to regulate the fares of private hire vehicles because they are subject to a lot of competition. Yet the draft regulations suggest that TfL would wish to regulate the fares of pedicabs, even when they are being used, in essence, for private hire.