Pedicabs warned they could be facing £5000 fine for playing loud music
By SohoLisa | Sunday, August 22, 2010, 18:01
Westminster City Council is
© Thomas Euler's photostream
warning pedicab drivers that they are banned from playing music at night
from loud speakers following repeated complaints from residents.
Those living in the West End and
Knightsbridge have said that they are being kept awake throughout the
night by the blaring of mobile sound systems.
Playing sound systems in public the
street is illegal after 9pm under the Control of Pollution Act 1974,
with the only a few exceptions such as tour guides on an open top bus
and police using megaphones for crowd control.
It is also illegal for the sound
systems to be used for advertising purposes at any time of the day – a
practice which is thought to be on the rise.
Pedicab drivers flouting the law
could be hit with a fine of up to £5,000.
The noise from the pedicabs comes
on top of a spate of complaints from local residents about the owners of
flash sports cars predominantly from the Middle East driving at high
speeds around Knightsbridge and near Harrods.
Madeline Elsdon, from the
Knightsbridge Association, said: “I can’t step out of my front door
without people complaining about pedicabs. The people living near Sloane
Street haven’t slept for weeks.
“It was bad enough last year when
they were just pests, but now we have an influx of pedicab drivers
around Harrods and they’re blaring music out while touring around
Rivett, managing director of London Pedicabs who wants greater
regulation for the pedicab industry, said he is frustrated with the
riders who are playing loud music and giving the profession a bad name.
He said: “It has become an
increasing problem. Unfortunately my drivers are in the minority and a
lot of the rogue drivers are now touting for business outside the
restaurants in Heddon Street, blaring out music at 11pm in a residential
“It’s time we started
all singing from the same hymn sheet. I’m happy to go along with rules
and regulations. I just wish more of the drivers were.”
Westminster Cabinet Member for City
Management, Councillor Ed Argar said: “This kind of behaviour is
incredibly insensitive and disrespectful to our local residents.
“We are keen to reiterate to all
drivers that while much of the West End and Knightsbridge may be lively
and full of people enjoying a night out, it does not give them the right
to increase noise levels by playing loud music at all hours of the day
Council has been working with TfL and responsible pedicab operators to
draw up a voluntary code of practice.
Since 2008, the council has seized
162 dangerous pedicabs.
I personally can't stand the swarm of pedicabs that have descended upon the West End in the past decade. Overpriced, dangerous and often unlawfully of the parked and it seems the noise concern is just one of many irritating factors that have plagued the capital's streets. I welcome the council taking extra measures to make sure these pedicabs are kept in better check. What do you think about them? Do you think they are nothing but a costly nuisance or a envirnomentally friendly mode of transport in a city that is crying out for such alternatives? Whatever you think, share your thoughts here.