Amendment 3

Part of Pedicabs (London) Bill [HL] - Report – in the House of Lords at 6:00 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) 6:00, 30 January 2024

My Lords, I once again thank your Lordships for their careful consideration of the Bill. I have outlined the purpose of the Government’s amendments in this group, and will now address Amendment 5, in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson.

I first reiterate the Government’s objective in bringing forward this Bill. The purpose is to provide Transport for London with the tools it needs to regulate London’s pedicabs so that journeys and vehicles are safer and fairer. This means addressing both the safety-related and traffic-related concerns, and tackling the antisocial and nuisance behaviour of certain pedicab operators and drivers.

Amendment 5, which attempts to set objectives to which the Secretary of State must have regard when issuing statutory guidance, shares the Government’s objectives. However, this has been tabled in response to the Government’s Amendment 4, which provides the Secretary of State with the option of issuing statutory guidance to Transport for London relating to the exercise of its functions and the pedicab regulations. This provides clear parameters for the scope of any statutory guidance and therefore Amendment 5 is not necessary, as the matters it covers are addressed by provisions in the Bill. In addition, I note that prescribing in detail what the Secretary of State must consider when issuing guidance could have the effect of inadvertently excluding from the scope of the guidance matters which have not been specifically listed. For this reason, a general approach is considered preferable.

I will highlight some of the relevant provisions in the Bill. Clause 2(5) covers fares, including what fares may be charged and how passengers are notified of these. Clause 2(6) covers a wide range of issues relating to the operation of London’s pedicabs. This includes safety, the quality and roadworthiness of pedicabs, the working conditions of drivers and their conduct. Clause 2(7) gives Transport for London the power to place limitations on where and when pedicabs can operate, and Transport for London has already confirmed it will need to give proper consideration to the matter of pedicab ranks, taking into account the needs of pedicab drivers, passengers and other road users. Clause 3 sets out the enforcement mechanisms available to Transport for London and includes details of penalties.

A couple of points were raised by noble Lords. The noble Lord, Lord Storey, talked about identification of the pedicabs. That really will be a matter for Transport for London, however it intends to license them. I can think of various ways it could do it; I am sure he could as well but it will be a matter for Transport for London. On the point raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, regarding the need to consult, that is written into the Bill, most certainly, and I feel quite sure that cycling organisations will be included in that. I think that more or less covers everything apart from the point from the noble Lord, Lord Borwick. On that, we can confirm that this is solely Transport for London’s responsibility.

Amendment 3 agreed.