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Londoner gets charged £500 for pedicab ride lasting 10 minutes from Mayfair to Soho

Anna Verdon

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Londoner gets charged £500 for pedicab ride lasting 10 minutes from Mayfair to Soho

Featured Image Credit: Russell Moore / Alamy Stock Photo Peter Phipp/Travelshots.com / Alamy Stock Photo

A man from London has been left outraged after he was charged £500 for a 10-minute pedicab ride.

He was traveling from Mayfair to Soho on 29 July.

The passenger, who wants to remain anonymous, was charged the extortionate fare after the driver distracted him while he put his card in the rider’s machine.

The man told The Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I’d had a few drinks, and I should have realised but I blindly put my card in the machine.

“He was good at what he did.”

He added: “It’s £500. I’m not going to let that go. He should be fined £5,000 and have his pedicab taken off him."

He reported the incident to Westminster City Council and hopes the rider will be caught and his money returned.

At the moment Pedicab riders can operate without a licence and set their own rates.

Pedicabs in Leicester Square (stock image). Credit: Shutterstock
Pedicabs in Leicester Square (stock image). Credit: Shutterstock

Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has previously said more needs to be done to control 'the Wild West of pedicabs or rickshaws'.

The man who got caught out with the hefty fare is now calling for Pedicabs to be regulated in a similar way to taxis to prevent others being caught out by the scam.

He said: “They obviously need to be regulated like taxis and they need to be licensed. At the end of the day, these guys could be anyone.”

Westminster Council is working to crack down on pedicab drivers in the area and has issued guidance on how they should operate.

After an investigation alongside the Met Police, five pedicab operators were issued with record fines coming to a total of £5,682.

The trip was a 10 minute ride from Mayfair to Soho. Credit: Shutterstock
The trip was a 10 minute ride from Mayfair to Soho. Credit: Shutterstock

The individual fines ranged between £684-£2,019 and are the highest fines the council has slapped on the drivers since it launched its investigation.

In February, a driver who charged someone a £180 fare for a three-minute trip was also forced to repay.

Councillor Aicha Less, deputy leader, cabinet leader for communities and public protection told the Evening Standard: “Pedicabs are an unlicensed nuisance and drivers regularly block pavements, play loud music, and charge extortionate fares.

“We want people visiting the West End to have fun and to be safe, and the council will continue to work with the police to take action against antisocial pedicab drivers.”

Topics: London, Travel

Anna Verdon
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