Amendment 3

Part of Pedicabs (London) Bill [HL] - Report – in the House of Lords at 5:45 pm on 30 January 2024.

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Photo of Lord Davies of Gower Lord Davies of Gower Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Transport) 5:45, 30 January 2024

My Lords, this final group of amendments covers the process for regulations made under the Bill. Amendment 3 places responsibility for making pedicab regulations solely with Transport for London, meaning that pedicab regulations will no longer be subject to any form of parliamentary procedure.

Noble Lords will be aware that this marks a shift in the Government’s approach. The Government have listened to, and reflected on, the points raised at Second Reading and in Grand Committee, and reached the conclusion that these powers should rest with Transport for London. The Government have reached this view for several important reasons. First, it is consistent with the position for taxi and private hire vehicle licensing in the capital, where Transport for London has demonstrable experience of operating effective licensing regimes. Secondly, the Bill’s provisions extend to Greater London only, addressing the legal anomaly that has meant that London’s pedicab industry has been unregulated. The Bill presents a solution to a London-centric issue. Thirdly and finally, the relative size of the pedicab industry in London is an important factor. Estimates suggest that pedicab numbers range from 200 up to 900 in peak season. This is a significantly smaller industry than London’s taxi and PHV industries, where there are over 100,000 licensed vehicles and over 120,000 licensed drivers. Therefore, this amendment offers a proportionate approach.

While I am confident that this amendment is supported by the majority of your Lordships, I am aware that there may be some noble Lords concerned that Transport for London would seize this opportunity to remove all pedicabs from London’s streets, or to impose draconian restrictions that all but ban these vehicles. I reiterate that I do not—