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Grand Committee

Volume 834: debated on Monday 11 December 2023

Grand Committee

Monday 11 December 2023

Arrangement of Business


I am obliged to advise the Grand Committee—although I think it is singularly unlikely that we will have a Division—that if there is a Division in the Chamber while we are sitting, this Committee will adjourn as soon as the Division Bells are rung and resume after 10 minutes.

Pedicabs (London) Bill [HL]


Clause 1: Power to regulate pedicabs

Amendment 1

Moved by

1: Clause 1, page 1, line 2, leave out “Transport for London” and insert “The Secretary of State”

Member’s explanatory statement

This and related amendments in the name of Lord Berkeley empower the Secretary of State (rather than Transport for London) to make pedicabs regulations.

This is a long group of amendments but, in my case, they all say the same thing, which is probably just as well. I wish to speak to Amendments 1, 6, 10, 13, 27, 29, 30, 37 and 41. These are all to do with the regulatory framework for pedicabs and what I would call a national one.

At Second Reading in your Lordships’ House, a lot of colleagues talked about the difference between the rules governing pedicabs in London and those in the rest of the country. There was general agreement that the London situation needs changing but that it must not be changed to the extent that it prevents legal pedicabs from operating in a safe and sustainable way. We have to learn from the experience of some other cities, such as Oxford, Salisbury and York, where the pedicabs have effectively been put out of business by the taxi crowd. I am sure the Minister would agree that the purpose of all these things is to make the operations of pedicabs as close as possible to the way that taxis operate around the country, bearing in mind that pedicabs are smaller and lighter than taxis, as well as being safer, I think. However, they all need to live together.

My purpose in tabling what is effectively one amendment is that it would be better if the Secretary of State were responsible for all the secondary legislation. While I have great faith in what Transport for London is trying to do, things can change. We may find in a few years’ time that even those of us who love pedicabs will be badly affected if a different council in London decides to make life so difficult for pedicabs that there would be none left. That would be an equal shame.

I know that the Minister has a couple of amendments down on the same thing and I look forward to debating those. The key for me is that the Secretary of State should take ultimate responsibility for the regulations under the Bill, just to make sure that those regulations are fit for purpose and have a common fairness in how they deal with pedicabs and taxis across the whole of England. The Bill applies only to London, as we have been told many times, but if it then became a model for change in other cities later, if the local authorities wanted it, that would be good too. That is my reason for suggesting that it would be good if the Secretary of State were the person by whom the regulations were applied, so that he or she were in charge. I beg to move.

My Lords, my name is attached to two amendments in this group. Amendment 2 is a probing amendment to simply ask my noble friend the Minister why the draftsman uses “may” in some instances and not “must”. I would have thought that these are “musts” that we want to see. In his Amendment 44 in this group, my noble friend has helpfully chosen a “must”, but that is the other way round, requiring that TfL

“must obtain the approval of the Secretary of State”.

He will see why I want it in the direction that I have requested.

My Lords, my contribution to this group of amendments is in having given notice of my intention to oppose the Question that Clause 6 stand part of the Bill. In doing so, I take a contrary view to that of all the amendments about how this issue should be dealt with. All the amendments have a centralising thrust, whereas my thrust is for decentralisation. In one aspect, I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, that these regulations need to be used to improve the services provided by pedicabs and not to kill them off entirely. We need to use this opportunity to turn the negative into a positive so that they enhance rather than damage the tourism offer in London.

I tabled my notice of intention to oppose Clause 6 standing part of the Bill to probe why the scrutiny of regulations made by Transport for London is to be undertaken by Parliament and not the London Assembly. The legal situation in England is that, outside London, pedicabs can be licensed as taxis. Taxi and PHV licensing is undertaken across England by 262 lower-tier and unitary authorities of a vast range of sizes. The taxi legislation therefore gives licensing authorities significant discretion in vehicle requirements. A taxi driver must be deemed fit and proper to hold a licence, must have held a car driving licence for the last 12 months and must not be disqualified on immigration grounds, which is covered by the right-to-work check.

Some authorities, such as Herefordshire, York and South Lakeland, have policies that detail specific requirements for pedicabs, whereas other authorities state in their licensing policies that they do not license pedicabs. There have been complaints since 2006 about pedicabs in London, but all that time other local authorities have had the powers to deal with this and design and implement their own regulations. That is a satisfactory approach. As I said, there have been complaints over 20 years, but successive Governments have not considered this issue important enough to deal with or they have not had time in the parliamentary timetable to do so.

Now we have this Bill, which has broad support but is, in parliamentary terms, a bit of a sledgehammer to crack a nut. From the point of view of residents in London who complain long and hard about the noise, nuisance and danger of the current situation, regulation and control of pedicabs cannot come into force quickly enough. A single day of delay will annoy them. Why are the Government so intent on delaying things even more by ensuring that Parliament must approve Transport for London regulations?

Across the UK, local authorities consider issues of detail where local knowledge is essential. I would argue that Parliament is definitely not the place to decide the adequacy of regulations that might, for example, stipulate the location of cab ranks. We should not be sitting here saying that a cab rank should not be on this street corner but on another one. That is not the level of detail we should be going into. That sort of thing requires local knowledge and should be scrutinised by the GLA.

It is also essential that we do not clutter our timetable—the Government are always saying they do not have parliamentary time, particularly in relation to transport—with things that can be done better at a different level of government. I argue that Clause 6 should not be part of the Bill.

My Lords, in this exciting ideological divide I find myself, curiously, much on the same side as the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, rather than the side of the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, or even the Government.

We have been here before. In 1514, we enacted a Bill to regulate the fares charged by water taxis on the Thames and it ran into exactly the same problem that the suggestion made by the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, will run into, which was that there was nobody to enforce it. Who in the Department for Transport will turn up and enforce the regulations made by the DfT if TfL, which has an enforcement department, is cut out of it?

The Act of 1514 became, in effect, a nullity. Undeterred, Parliament returned to the subject in 1555 to have another go and this time more sensibly. We delegated the power of setting these fares and enforcing them, as far as river-borne traffic was concerned, to what were known as the rulers of what became the Company of Watermen and Lightermen. The regulation of horse-drawn traffic in London, including things like cabs and taxi meters, has—as far as I am aware, and until the creation of Transport for London under the GLA Act of 1999—always been the responsibility of the Metropolitan Police. Again, that is a local body and one well acquainted with enforcement.

Now, for the first time in at least half a millennium of legislation, we appear to have the notion from the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, that all regulation should be set by the Government and from the Government the not terribly dissimilar notion, as was pointed out by the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, that while Transport for London should be allowed to draft, in effect, the statutory instruments and must submit them immediately—“immediately” is the word used—to the Secretary of State, the Secretary of State, with no time limit, requirement or obligation on him or her, then has to approve, amend, change or reject them. Why? What is the advantage to the Government or to the travelling passenger of doing this? Why are the Government not under the same obligation to act immediately, or at least within set time limits, in dealing with the SIs sent to them by Transport for London?

We should learn our lessons from history. This sort of regulation and enforcement is best done at local level. We have a body in place in the form of Transport for London, which has considerable experience of regulating the analogous taxi trade, so why would we want this to be done by the Department for Transport, as proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, and why do the Government feel that they need to bring these provisions before Parliament, when they do not expect taxi fares to be set in a like manner? What is the objective here?

When I raised this at Second Reading, I thought it might give a friendly hint to the Minister perhaps to moderate or withdraw that clause. Far from doing so, it appears to have alerted him to what he considers to be a lacuna in the Bill and he has come back with a government amendment to make the department’s grip on this process even tighter. The Government should think about this again and the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, should think about the practical effects of his proposal.

My Lords, I declared my interests in full at Second Reading. I declare them again, only as they are in the register.

I entirely agree with the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson. This seems a strange way of regulating the pedicab industry. I am not sure why my noble friend is regulating in this complex way. As I understand it, Transport for London will form the regulations, then the Secretary of State will turn them into statutory instruments. They will enter a new queue here to be given the time to be dealt with.

I have had problems in the past with statutory instruments from the Department for Transport. The Public Service Vehicles (Accessible Information) Regulations 2023 were debated in the Moses Room on 16 May this year. It took five years from consultation before they were promulgated here. I am not sure what was achieved in those five years, because the regulations were not changed. The only thing that happened was delay.

I think we all agree that the Bill is urgent, important and should be done immediately. As my noble friend Lord Moylan mentioned, it is good news that the Government, in their Amendment 46, use the word “immediately”:

“Transport for London must, immediately after making pedicab regulations, send the statutory instrument containing them to the Secretary of State”.

Should we not volunteer to propose the regulations as statutory instruments immediately? I understand that, even then, there would be a queue, but the word “immediately” does not seem to have produced the urgency that is truly required.

This is a very good Bill. I disagree slightly with the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, who said that the taxis are regulated by the Secretary of State. I think he will find that they used to be, a long time ago in the old and hallowed days when they were regulated through the police force—and very much better they were, too—but, in recent years, they have been regulated by Transport for London. It can change things and get new regulations through much faster than would be implied by this structure. So, not only are they closer, as my noble friend Lord Moylan mentioned; they are also altogether faster than the system, which is inevitable with a big department.

I thank noble Lords. I hope that the Bill gets through as soon as possible because these vehicles are a small but dreadful scourge on the streets of London.

My Lords, I find myself, in my position speaking for the Opposition, in favour of devolution on this issue. I agree with what the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, said; I do not know why she thought that I would disagree but I agree totally with what she said.

In that case, I apologise, but I agree completely with what the noble Baroness said. I disagree with my noble friend Lord Berkeley and agree with the noble Lords, Lord Moylan and Lord Borwick, on this issue. It is the responsibility of Parliament to set the framework to empower Transport for London to make these regulations, but their detail should be a matter for it and it should be given the power to do this. One of the amendments I have tabled suggests that we push ahead quickly with this and that TfL should be given the power to get on with it as quickly as possible. I suspect that the real argument one ought to have concerns whether this is a Westminster borough issue or a London-wide one, but it makes the most sense for TfL to have the legal responsibility. I am sure that the borough of Westminster will be consulted by it on this matter very thoroughly.

This is certainly an important principle. If we want speedy action in this area, it should be supported across the Committee. With great respect to civil servants in the Department for Transport, it is also ridiculous that they should spend their time monitoring these, which are, frankly, of minor significance in the overall scope of their responsibilities. I therefore urge the Government to think again on this matter, otherwise, we might have a bit of an argument on Report.

My Lords, I am grateful for noble Lords’ consideration of the Bill and very much welcome the scrutiny of those here today as it continues its parliamentary passage.

This first group of amendments covers the process for secondary legislation made under the Bill. Before moving on to the amendments tabled by noble Lords, I will explain the purpose of the two government amendments that have been tabled. Amendments 44 and 46 are intended to provide clarity on the parliamentary procedure for the secondary legislation that will come forward to regulate London’s pedicabs. Let me take them in turn. Amendment 44 makes it explicit that Transport for London would have to obtain approval from the Secretary of State to make a pedicab order; this should assure the Committee that there will need to be consensus between the Government and Transport for London.

On Amendment 46, convention dictates that only Ministers may lay orders in Parliament, and Transport for London would therefore be unable to do this. Again, this amendment is intended to be explicit on this point, making it clear that Ministers would be responsible for laying a pedicab order. This is the right approach. The Bill will require that pedicab regulations be subject to parliamentary scrutiny via the negative resolution procedure. This strikes an appropriate balance between conferring a discretion on Transport for London to consult and design pedicab regulations, and a scrutiny role for Parliament in their approval. The opposing amendments from the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, and the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, seem to suggest that the Bill’s drafting and procedure is in the right place. As I set out, it will be subject to the negative procedure. The point raised my noble friends Lord Borwick and Lord Moylan on the immediate response by the Secretary of State has been taken on board, and we will go back and look at it.

Some noble Lords challenge this notion, pointing to Transport for London’s experience regulating London’s taxis and private hire vehicles, and the fact that London cab orders are not subject to parliamentary scrutiny. However, the taxi industry is well established and the Bill marks the first legislation specifically targeted at the pedicab industry. It is right that there is a role for Parliament. Although the Government understand that Transport for London has no intention to ban pedicabs outright and is primarily committed to making the industry safer, these amendments should provide noble Lords with assurance that Transport for London will not be able to unilaterally prohibit pedicabs from operating.

That leads me to Amendments 1, 6, 10, 13, 27, 29, 30, 37 and 41, tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley. They seek to replace Transport for London with the Secretary of State, meaning that the Secretary of State would consult on and design pedicab regulations, as well as holding responsibility for matters such as setting licence fees and imposing civil penalties. I have already set out the rationale for Parliament having a role in pedicab regulations. These amendments would represent a fundamental shift in the Bill’s approach. Transport for London is best placed to consult on and design pedicab regulations that meet its needs. In recognition of what will become a newly regulated industry, the Bill provides a clear role for Parliament.

The Clause 6 stand-part notice addresses the point raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, who has indicated an intention to probe why Parliament has a role in scrutinising pedicab regulations made by Transport for London, instead of the London Assembly. So too does Amendment 45, tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Liddle. I hope my comments have provided clarity on this matter.

The only real justification the Minister offered for Parliament retaining this degree of control is the possibility that the Greater London Authority and TfL might want to ban pedicabs altogether. What is his evidence that there is even the slightest possibility of this on the horizon? The present mayor has no intention of doing that—he wants them properly regulated—so is the Minister saying that the Conservative candidate for the mayoral election next year will come out for banning pedicabs altogether? What is the justification for retaining this power? Remember: all this stuff about Parliament retaining the power is nonsense. We know that we have very little control over what happens and over the content of statutory instruments, although we debate them. The power rests with the Minister and the department. Why on earth should the overworked Department for Transport want to spend its time messing around with the detail of whether pedicabs have mirrors and what the level of fines on them should be?

My Lords, it might be helpful if I briefly ask my noble friend a question. As I understand it, statutory instruments fall within the Government’s code on consultation, so it would be normal for them to consult on a draft statutory instrument before it is laid. Does my noble friend believe that these statutory instruments will fall under that code of consultation, and that consultation by the Government will be required? How does he envisage that meshing with the public consultation that will have been carried out by Transport for London in preparing the draft statutory instruments?

In the interests of efficiency, before the Minister replies, I will get in a third intervention because it is along the same lines. He said that this could be done by Parliament rather than the London Assembly because this was the first time that regulations had been produced for pedicabs, but that is not in practice the case. Local authorities across England outside London have—maybe not after long debate in the House, but certainly in practice—been given the power to regulate pedicabs. As I said, they have done so in a number of cases. I have made inquiries. The Department for Transport does not keep records of how many local authorities have these regulations in place, but it is aware of a number of places that do. They exist; they have had time to be trialled.

In answer to the noble Lord, Lord Liddle, I can only repeat that convention dictates that only Ministers can lay orders in Parliament. Therefore, Transport for London would be unable to do so. The amendment is intended to be explicit on that point, making it clear that Ministers would be responsible for laying a pedicab order.

We do not consider that the Government would have to consult. Transport for London would have to consult prior to bringing pedicab regulations forward.

Amendments 2 and 15 in the name of my noble friend Lord Leigh of Hurley seek to impose a statutory requirement on Transport for London to make pedicab regulations, and would require pedicab regulations to make provisions under the matters covered by Clause 2(6). It is right that the Bill provides Transport for London with a discretion to determine how pedicab regulations are designed. Clause 2(6) provides that flexibility, and Transport for London has indicated that it will introduce regulations covering matters under that subsection. In any case, those regulations will need to be consulted on and, as I have set out, a consensus will be needed between the Government and Transport for London.

Transport for London is supportive of the Bill and the need to regulate London’s pedicabs. As such, the Government expect Transport for London to commence work to bring forward pedicab regulations following the Bill’s passage. I emphasise that Transport for London has been asking for the Bill, so we expect it to be industrious in the forming of the legislation.

My Lords, I am grateful to all Members of the Committee who have spoken to this group of amendments. There is a big variety of opinions, from “The Department for Transport should do everything”, to “Transport for London should do everything”—I am sure that we will come to that later.

I would like the Minister to reflect on the equivalent structure that the Government might propose if and when we ever get some legislation on electric scooters, which we have all been asking for but are not allowed to talk about on this Bill, because electric scooters are used more widely than in London. However, they are a new form of transport, authorised in certain towns and cities by the Department for Transport with the local authorities’ blessing. When it comes to producing legislation on electric scooters, which anyone can buy, own and use, how does the Minister propose that it is done? Would it be by each local authority, the Department for Transport or a combination of both? What would be the quickest way to get it to work? I leave the Minister with my comments and views on that, on which I am sure he will come back at some stage. I beg leave to withdraw the amendment.

Amendment 1 withdrawn.

Amendment 2 not moved.

Amendment 3

Moved by

3: Clause 1, page 1, line 7, after “passengers” insert “including in a cargo box with seating attached to the front of the pedal cycle”

Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment is to probe whether Clause 1 omits cargo bikes adapted for passenger use from the scope of the Bill.

My Lords, in moving Amendment 3, I shall also speak to Amendment 4 in my name. The objective of both is to highlight the importance of having a clear definition of pedicabs and their use, so that the Bill can deliver its objectives effectively and fairly.

At Second Reading, I made it clear that I support the Bill but was concerned that the current drafting means that it could unintentionally exclude from its remit activity that really is a business and yet, at the same time, trap activity that clearly is not a business. I tabled Amendments 3 and 4 to give the Government the opportunity to take action to remedy what appear to be defects in the Bill.

Amendment 3 probes whether the definition of “pedicab” fails to cover cargo bikes adapted for passenger use. At Second Reading, I asked the Minister, at col. 778 of Hansard, whether the Government intended to include in the definition of “trailer” a bike that has a cargo box attached at the front which has been adapted for passenger use, since the existing drafting appeared to fail to do so. That would give an open sesame to those in the business of driving or operating pedicabs, which have trailers, suddenly to switch to using seating for passengers attached to the front of the bike to circumvent the legislation. At that stage, my noble friend was not able to give an assurance on this matter.

I was therefore pleased last week to receive the letter sent by the Minister to all who had spoken at Second Reading and to see that the Government had tabled Amendments 43 and 50, which deal with the issue I raised. The government amendments appear to resolve the problem I identified, because they ensure that the meaning of “trailer” now includes a sidecar or seating for passengers attached to the front of the vehicle.

I look forward to hearing later from the Minister his explanation for tabling Amendments 43 and 50 and his response to Amendment 42 from the noble Lord, Lord Liddle, because that also supports the position I took at Second Reading. However, I anticipate giving my full support to the Minister’s amendments.

I tabled Amendment 4 to seek clarification about the implications of the word “reward” in Clause 1(2). I was concerned that it could unintentionally bring within the remit of the Bill activity that cannot be considered a business. The example I gave at Second Reading is the transport of a child or baby to school, nursery or perhaps to a doctor’s appointment, when somebody doing that transporting is not the parent. I am not talking about a parent doing it, but cases where the parent cannot—they could be at work—and a neighbour, friend or relative does it in their place. As we reach Christmas, there may be times when one gives a present—a small gift, perhaps a box of chocolates—to the person who has been helping out. My concern is that the lack of definition of “reward” in the context of the Bill makes it possible that the act of a good Samaritan could be brought within its remit.

In his response at Second Reading, my noble friend said:

“As I understand it, the Bill is intended to cover pedicabs plying for hire”.—[Official Report, 22/11/23; col. 790.]

However, Clause 1(2) does not refer to plying for hire. That phrase appears in the Bill only in Clause 2 and does not address the problem I have raised, because subsection (7)(a) refers to a power to impose regulations that may

“prohibit drivers from using pedicabs for standing or plying for hire”

in certain circumstances.

I was going round in circles mentally at this stage, so I decided that the only thing to do was table Amendment 4 to seek further reassurance from my noble friend the Minister. In his letter of 6 December, he stated that a scenario

“where an individual receives a gift as a thank you, is unlikely to be captured under this Bill’s provisions”.

However, that leaves open the fact that it might be captured by the Bill’s provisions. He went on to say that,

“where a formal arrangement is in place for an individual to transport other people’s children on a daily or regular basis in return for a pre-agreed payment, this might be caught by the Bill’s provisions”.

I absolutely see the logic in that because, as a business, it should be within the remit of this Bill. He went on to say that

“it will be for TfL to take a view on such matters in designing the regulations”

and that

“TfL could choose to exercise their regulatory powers in a manner that takes certain types of pedicab usage outside the scope of the regulations”.

This means that the good Samaritan is left in limbo, not knowing whether they are likely to be covered by the Bill in future. We have just had a discussion about who will have the final authority. I can operate only on the basis that the Bill will go forward unchanged because, as we know, amendments can be made here only with the agreement of all Members; if there is a vote, it cuts the Grand Committee dead. I must work on the basis that the Government’s position at the moment will continue until Report, at the very least.

My questions concern how people will know what is going on. Will the Government ensure that regulations impacting those who are not operating a business and who receive small gifts only occasionally will not be imposed? As the Bill stands, the Government could decline to make TfL’s brought-forward regulations. Might the Government then say no to TfL? After all, their Amendment 44 gives them the power to refuse TfL’s regulations. If my noble friend cannot give me the assurance I seek today, can he say how, in these circumstances, the Government and/or TfL will make the public in London aware of what really happens if a good Samaritan decides that it is not worth a candle for them to carry on in case they get caught by regulations and have to go through all the processes—good processes—to check that they are a fit and proper person to carry a friend’s child in their trailer, whether it be a front, side or back trailer? I beg to move.

My Lords, I warmly support these amendments in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay of St Johns. I also support the amendment in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Blencathra, who cannot be here today.

In moving her amendment, the noble Baroness gave some good examples of the concern that this Bill may get the wrong people as well as the right ones, if I can put it that way. I have an example: a relation of mine, who is in his 20s, works for a firm that delivers baby food around London on the back of a trailer. I do not know whether it is electric or pedal-driven—that does not really matter—but it is a trailer. On some occasions, he might want to take a passenger with him. His business is doing quite well—it is a business—but he does not really want to get caught up in all the TfL regulations concerning what we normally call pedicabs.

We have to somehow improve the definition. The noble Baroness has made a good start on this; we should have another chat about it, I hope with the Minister, and see what exactly we are trying to stop. Removing the words “or reward” is certainly a good start, but it does not go far enough.

My Lords, this is a changing scenario. As the vehicles change slightly in how they are powered and so on, people dream up new and useful purposes for them. I support the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, and the noble Lord, Lord Blencathra, in their amendments, because it is essential that the Government are entirely clear. This is an opportunity for them to put this on the record—which, of course, has legal implications in itself.

The Government need to be entirely clear about the purpose of the Bill. If there is uncertainty, it will serve to undermine efforts to encourage active travel. For example, parents across London are often seen with their children in trailers at the back of their bikes. It is important that that kind of healthy, active travel is encouraged, not discouraged.

My Lords, it is our earnest hope that the Government listen carefully to the common sense of the points made on these amendments. The noble Baroness, Lady Anelay of St Johns, spoke with typical common sense. The Government need to take account of what she said and bring forward amendments to reflect her concerns. I also agree with what the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, and my noble friend Lord Berkeley said on that subject.

With our amendments in this group, we are trying to make sure that there is a flexible mechanism in the Bill so that the definition of a pedicab can be changed in the light of experience. That is sensible so that it can be done quickly to counter any attempts that people may make to escape the Bill’s provisions or get round them in some way. I hope the Minister will be sympathetic to that concern in his reply.

My Lords, this second group of amendments focuses on the definition of a pedicab. I will open my remarks by addressing the Government’s amendments first.

The Government listened carefully to the points raised at Second Reading and have tabled Amendment 50 with the purpose of expanding the definition of “trailer”, for the purposes of the Bill, to include sidecars or vehicles pushed by a pedal cycle. This will ensure that pedicab drivers and operators cannot circumvent the intent of the Bill and future regulations by transporting passengers in a separate vehicle to the side or front of a pedicab. The other government amendment in this group, Amendment 43, is consequential to this change.

These government amendments address Amendments 3 and 42, tabled by my noble friend Lady Anelay of St Johns and the noble Lord, Lord Liddle. The amendment tabled by my noble friend seeks to expand the definition of “pedicab” to include

“a cargo box with seating attached to the front of the pedal cycle”.

Similarly, the amendment tabled by the noble Lord seeks to add “affixed carriage” to the definition so that the Bill captures scenarios where passengers are carried to the side or in front of the driver. As I mentioned, the government amendments have, hopefully, addressed any potential loophole here.

On the amendment tabled by my noble friend, the Government completely agree that passengers sitting in a cargo box should be subject to regulation. Under the current text of the Bill, this would be the case. This is because nothing in legislation defines a cargo box or cargo bike. A cargo box fixed to a bike with seating would form part of “a pedicab”. This is not a separate wheeled vehicle like a trailer; it is a pedal cycle adapted for the carrying of passengers, as per the definition in Clause 1(2). The Government hope their amendments have effectively addressed the issues raised by both noble Lords and satisfied my noble friend that those not in business will not be affected.

I will address Amendments 4 and 5—tabled by my noble friends Lady Anelay and Lord Blencathra—together, as they relate to linked issues. My noble friend Lady Anelay’s amendment seeks to probe whether “reward” captures minor gifts and to clarify the Bill’s intention towards those carrying passengers but not operating a business. My noble friend Lord Blencathra’s amendment seeks to exclude trailers designed for the carrying of babies and small children from the Bill’s scope. The Government understand that these amendments seek to achieve similar goals. To be clear, the Bill defines pedicabs in terms of being

“made available with a driver for hire or reward”.

This excludes from the scope of pedicab regulations the possibility of, for example, parents transporting their children using a pedal cycle.

The Government reflected on my noble friend Lady Anelay’s comments at Second Reading and are content that “reward”, as referenced in Clause 1(2), is unlikely to capture the giving of minor gifts. Instead, the Bill’s intent is instances where the reward is agreed in advance of a service being provided. However, the Bill’s provisions might feasibly capture instances where there is a formal agreement for an individual to transport other people’s children on a daily or regular basis in return for a pre-agreed payment. Such an individual would be providing a service, and it is not clear that this would be sufficiently different to the type of services the Bill intends to regulate to warrant exclusion from it. Ultimately, it will be for Transport for London to take a view on such matters in designing the regulations. It may choose to take certain types of pedicab usage outside of the regulations’ scope.

I am rather thrown by what the Minister said at the end of his remarks, which implied that he thought the transport of children to school would be counted as a pedicab and therefore subject to this regulation. Please can he clarify this?

For clarification, the Bill’s provision might feasibly capture instances where there is a formal agreement for an individual to transport other people’s children on a daily or regular basis in return for a pre-agreed payment. I can only repeat what I said: it is not clear that this would be sufficiently different to the type of services the Bill intends to regulate to warrant exclusion from it.

What is wrong with the amendment suggested by the noble Baroness, Lady Anelay, to remove the word “reward”? If a pedicab is for hire then it is for hire; that is quite clear, but “reward” is not. Someone might pay their au pair a reward to take their kids to school in the back of such a vehicle, or they might be paid by someone else to take their kids. The thought of these wonderful parents in west London who are trying to be green and trying to work out whether they are obeying the law or have to apply to TfL for a licence is a bit worrying.

“Hire or reward” is a recognised legal term in taxi and private hire vehicle regulations. The Bill intends the plain meaning of the word “reward”. A scenario where an individual receives a gift as a thank you is unlikely to be captured under the Bill’s provisions. The reference to a pedal cycle or power-assisted pedal cycle being made available with a driver for “hire or reward” is focused on instances where the reward has been agreed prior to the service being delivered.

My Lords, I am grateful to noble Lords who have supported my attempt to clarify matters. Having spoken to Amendment 4 and heard colleagues speak, I think I have encouraged the Minister to be less clear rather than more—although I appreciate that he is doing his best to clarify the position on what “reward” means. The base of this is that it can mean different things in different circumstances, and we need to focus on what it means within the circumstance of the Bill.

A moment ago, my noble friend the Minister repeated his point about the activity of someone who has not made a prior agreement for payment to carry someone. For example, my neighbour might agree to carry my grandchild, if I had one, without us making a prior agreement that there will be payment or reward for it—I might be sick and just ask them to do it for me. That, to me, is an instance that should not be caught by any regulation. I know that my noble friend the Minister is doing his best to explain why it should not come within the range of the Bill, but what he has to say in order to give leeway is that it is unlikely to be captured by the provisions of the Bill.

I appreciate that drafting legislation must be a nightmare. Having seen a raft of Bills over the years from three Governments—the coalition and Conservative Governments—and having been Chief Whip for seven years, I appreciate that it is a heck of a job. Often, legislation cannot clearly prescribe rules for every instance. I am really asking my noble friend the Minister: if we end up somewhere where we cannot be clear that a good Samaritan will not be clobbered by these regulations, can we at least make it clear to them that they might be clobbered and that they need to take that into consideration? I would be grateful if the Minister might consider that between now and Report. I am not expecting that to be in the form of an amendment, but it would be helpful if we had further explanation about the relationship there will be between the Government and TfL in terms of how and when regulations are brought forward and what kind of process goes on within the Department for Transport when it considers whether to say yea or nay to those regulations. Clearly, as the Minister said, this is new territory—I know the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, does not agree with that and says there is existing territory around the country to provide for this—but we want to be sure that those who are doing a kindness to others do not find themselves having to go through Criminal Records Bureau checks. That is the old term of course; there is different terminology for those now.

In the meantime, I am grateful to my noble friend the Minister for trying to tease this out. It would be helpful to know from him a little more, in future, about how the Department for Transport will handle what will, to start off with, be quite a difficult interface between TfL and the department: both will want to get this right, but they may have a different definition of what “right” means. I beg leave to withdraw Amendment 3.

Amendment 3 withdrawn.

Amendments 4 to 6 not moved.

Amendment 7

Moved by

7: Clause 1, page 1, line 10, leave out “whoever it considers appropriate” and insert “—

(a) representatives of organisations whose interests Transport for London believes may be affected by the regulations;(b) other persons who Transport for London considers appropriate.”Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment clarifies that, before making pedicab regulations, Transport for London must consult with representatives of organisations whose interests may, in Transport for London’s opinion, be affected by the regulations.

My Lords, we are on to the third group and I will speak to Amendments 7 and 9 in my name. To some extent, Amendment 7 follows on from what the noble Lord, Lord Moylan, who is not in his place, said about consultation. It is important that we have confidence that TfL will consult whomever it considers appropriate when drawing up the pedicab regulations. I am particularly interested in people who cycle or walk and, maybe in the future, go on scooters. Amendment 7 suggests that TfL should consult the representatives of those whose interests it believes may “be affected” by the regulations, as well as anyone else—it is quite simple. I hope the Minister will be able to say that it would do that anyway and that he would like it to, or something like that.

I have reflected a lot with people on Amendment 9 and on what the point is of putting in objectives for these regulations. There was some interesting wording in a briefing on the King’s Speech a few weeks ago, which said that the regulations will

“pave the way for a sustainable pedicab industry that is safer for passengers, pedestrians, and other road users in London … making it fairer for passengers and taxpayers by enabling Transport for London … to introduce fare controls”.

I note that it mentions fare controls, not the level of fares. To some extent, the Minister responded, saying that the Government agree with all this.

However, I suggest to the Minister that the list in Amendment 9 is a useful summary of the balance that needs to be addressed between the different people who like, hate or do not very much mind pedicabs. It proposes looking at the environment, the safety of drivers and passengers, danger and disruption to the public, and the level of fares, which will affect how many people hire them. We heard some pretty horrific stories at Second Reading about high fares being charged, to foreign tourists in particular. The list also includes licensing, which, again, needs to be proportionate. I will ask the Minister about one thing I have not put in this amendment: is there any geographical limit to where these TfL-licensed pedicabs may go? Presumably, there is some limit around London, but it would be good to know exactly what it is and what might happen to riders who go outside it.

Can the Minister confirm that the objective of all this legislation is not to discourage people from using pedicabs, or to put them out of business, but to make them into a safe and balanced alternative to other means of transport, enjoyed by Londoners and visitors alike? I beg to move.

My Lords, I have tabled a stand part notice in this group. First, I will support my noble friend Lord Berkeley. I particularly welcome his Amendment 9, which sets a sensible context in which TfL can take forward its work in pedicab regulation. In Amendment 7, he could have listed the organisations but chose to take a light touch, simply requiring that TfL looks carefully at the organisations that it consults and making sure that it covers the interests that he suggested. That seems eminently sensible and I hope that the Minister will feel able to accept it.

I have tabled my stand part notice for a reason that follows on from something that my noble friend said in his winding-up speech on the first group. I am still puzzled about why the legislation is so narrowly limited to pedicabs and not to e-bikes or e-scooters. I am also puzzled about why there are two transport Bills going through at the same time, and why we could not have had a rather more comprehensive Bill in which we could have been allowed wider input. Perhaps that is why we have two limited Bills—to prevent us having such input. It seems an extraordinarily bureaucratic way to deal with two very limited pieces of legislation.

Dockless e-bikes have had huge growth, unique to London. They are an unregulated market and pose significant traffic and pavement obstruction issues, with some health and safety concerns. There are similar issues with e-scooters. We now have an estimated 28,000 dockless e-bikes in London—up 180% from 2021. It is likely to increase still further in the next few years, which raises a number of issues. First, on-street parking of dockless e-bikes is unregulated, so they can be left anywhere. We have all seen the results of that, strewn around the streets: often, they have either fallen over or someone has thrown them over. They look unkempt and are accessibility and traffic obstruction issues. I understand that dockless e-bike operators are not subject to any procurement rules, so they do not have to adhere to minimum operational standards. I acknowledge that some bike operators have entered memoranda of understanding with specific boroughs, but they are not enforceable and can vary, so there can be inconsistency in crossing from one London borough to another.

Campaigners on disability issues have highlighted and alerted me to the challenges that an increase in e-scooter use may pose for pedestrians with disabilities. I think we have all experienced that. I refer the Committee to a paper published by Policy Exchange’s liveable London and crime and justice units, which has revealed a significant increase in the usage of public hire e-bikes and e-scooters, particularly around Westminster, making pavements impassable as a result of their regularly being abandoned by users at the end of their journey. Again, I think that many noble Lords will have experienced that.

E-scooters fall within the legal definition of a motor vehicle. That means that it is normally illegal to use them on public roads unless they comply with the legal requirements to do so, or are rented as part of an official trial. Concerns have also been raised that the batteries in e-scooters have been linked to fires. In 2021, London Fire Brigade was called to 130 fires related to lithium batteries, 28 of which have been directly linked to e-scooters.

The Government published an evaluation of the scooter trials in December 2022. According to the Library’s briefing, this was followed up in May 2023 with a question from the House of Commons Transport Committee, which was answered by Jesse Norman from the Minister’s department. He said that the Government were

“considering the fact that, since they were initially introduced, trials had shown that e-scooters primarily displaced active travel rather than travel in private vehicles”.

He also acknowledged the safety concerns around their use and

“said that the government planned to lay regulations … under existing rules rather than pass primary legislation. He said the government would also consider legislation on ‘light electric vehicles’. In July 2023 the government said it intended to introduce legislation on micromobility vehicles, which would encompass e-scooters, ‘when parliamentary time allows’”.

Well, we have all used that phrase before. I gently suggest to the Minister that, if his department has the energy to take two Bills through at the same time, parliamentary time would definitely have allowed it to bring provisions in relation to e-scooters and dockless e-bikes.

Getting some regulation here has huge support from the boroughs, TfL and the GLA. Indeed, one of the providers of dockless e-bikes in London, Dott, is also calling for regulation for dockless bikes. The case is overwhelming. I hope that the Minister might be a bit sympathetic and at least give us some indication of when the Government will bring this to fruition.

My Lords, first, I apologise for not being present at Second Reading.

I have added my name to Amendment 16, which is about safeguarding. It follows what the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, said at the beginning about how we want to encourage people to use pedicabs but also to ensure that they are safe. We must be aware that many vulnerable people, such as young children or young women, use pedicabs. This amendment says that the operator should have an enclosed Disclosure and Barring Service certification, formerly known as a CRB. There are three types of DBSs: basic, standard and enhanced. This amendment suggests enhanced. It is not expensive—it costs £20 and the renewal cost is £4—but it shows quite clearly to anybody who is an operator of these vehicles that the person who is driving or cycling one of them has no criminal convictions for rape, murder, sexual assault, cruelty to persons aged under 16, sexual intercourse with somebody aged under 16 or the possession or distribution of inappropriate images of children. If we want to ensure that pedicabs are safe, this requirement should happen.

My Lords, I will speak to my Amendment 12, which seeks to give TfL some help and guidance. In my opinion, it does not contradict Amendment 9 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley; in fact, it complements it. In any event, that amendment suggests that “regard” should be had to his suggestions, whereas mine would require the reference to the Licensing Act to be incorporated into deliberations.

I have had to table the amendment because the licensing authority, TfL, is not covered by the Licensing Act, which is of course mainly to do with food and drink. For the benefit of those of your Lordships who do not recall them instantly, let me outline the licensing objectives in the Licensing Act 2003. They are very simple; there are just four of them: the prevention of crime and disorder; public safety; the prevention of public nuisance; and the protection of children from harm. I can see no reason why one would not want to include them in this Bill to give TfL guidance on what we want it to do.

I declare an interest in the stand part notice proposed by the noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath: I am regular user of dockless e-bikes. I used one this morning, and they have definitely changed their modus operandi. One cannot leave a bike anywhere on the street; in most, not all, of Westminster, they have to be in designated areas. That seems a sensible move. I cannot quite see how we can get e-scooters and e-bikes into this Bill, but I suspect that this might just be a probing debate.

We may be able to put more pressure on the e-bike community. This is very easy to control because, at the moment, if you leave an e-bike outside the designated area, it will not allow you to end the trip. I do not know if any noble Lord has tried that; the first time is very frustrating but, once you get the hang of it, it is fine. If you cannot end your trip, you run the risk of someone jumping on your e-bike at your expense and cycling all round London, which would not be satisfactory. That was a slight digression.

On this group, I want to talk about Amendment 47 tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, to which he did not refer in his speech. It requires a consultation on the safety of power-assisted pedicabs. This is extremely sensible. The idea of pedicabs being power assisted is pretty frightening. They go at a fair speed at the moment but, power assisted, they could easily go at 20 miles an hour, if not more if not restricted. Then they will become even more dangerous than they are now. I strongly support his very mild suggestion—it could have been a lot stronger.

My Lords, I speak only to pick up the point that my noble friend Lord Leigh made a moment ago on electric-powered or electric-assisted pedicabs. In his round-robin letter to those who spoke at Second Reading, the Minister was kind enough to refer to the concern that I raised then that, in essence, an e-bike type of power system within one of these vehicles has the potential to move it at a greater speed than if powered purely by foot.

I am concerned that the definition of “pedal cycle” in the Bill includes a “power-assisted pedal cycle”. We are all with the parliamentary draftsmen as far as that goes, but what about if the vehicle is not powered by pedals? What if they are disconnected? We see many electric bicycles—a well-known delivery company seems to specialise in them—powering around London at relatively high speed, which do not use the pedals all the time. There are ways to circumvent them, so that these vehicles can be operated purely by a throttle-type control to become, in essence, electric-powered vehicles and not pedal cycles.

My question to the Minister, therefore, is: do we need some more specific wording, because the Bill refers only to pedal cycles? What if there are no pedals? I think we all share the same consideration: there could well be a blurring between pedal cycles and electric-powered vehicles. When does a pedicab stop being a pedicab? That is my question.

My Lords, I back up the call from the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, to try to persuade the Government to find a way to include e-bikes and e-scooters in the Bill. Like many of the pedicabs that we are dealing with, e-scooters and e-bikes are powered by lithium ion batteries which, incorrectly used, can cause huge damage. In fact, the number of fires that have taken place in London from lithium ion batteries powering light forms of mobility has been growing dramatically and, since 2020, has cost millions of pounds-worth of property damage, and caused many injuries and, tragically, the loss of 13 lives.

Incorrectly used, a lithium ion battery can develop a fire of over 600 degrees that is almost impossible to put out using any of the current known technology. We also know that it sends out huge amounts of really toxic gasses. So we need regulation around the lithium ion batteries that are used in all forms of light powered mobility, including pedicabs. I prepared a Private Member’s Bill that covered these issues, although it sadly did not come up in the ballot; I had enormous support on this issue from Electrical Safety First, which has worked on this for many years.

It is interesting to note that the London Fire Brigade said that it had had more fires up to the beginning of September than in the whole of the previous year—the number of fires is growing. Even more recently, on 11 September, a London coroner took the unusual step of calling for tougher legislation on e-bike batteries after the death of a father of two. We need action and this Bill provides an opportunity to do something about it.

I have raised these issues on a number of occasions. Several months ago, in June, I asked a Question in your Lordships’ House on the Government’s action. The noble Lord, Lord Offord of Garvel, who responded on that occasion, told me that his officials were

“proactively seeking the input and expertise of stakeholders”.—[Official Report, 27/6/23; col. 569.]

He also talked about work that was “under way”. However, much more recently, at the end of last month, I took part in a debate on light powered vehicles. The noble Lord, Lord Davies, responded to my points, particularly in the letter that he subsequently wrote to those who participated in the debate. In it, he drew our attention to annexe IV of EU Regulation 3/2014; incidentally, that was not at all helpful because it talks mainly about avoiding electric shocks from big electric cars—but never mind. The Minister went on to say:

“Fire prevention, fire detection and fire fighting in connection with electric vehicles is a developing area and the government reviews its guidance and regulations in step with the development of best practice”.

We seem to be going backwards: in June, I was told that work was under way but we are now told that guidance may come out in due course.

I hope that the Minister will take note of the concerns raised by the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, and recognise that he will not get new legislation in, but there is some here and he could use it as a vehicle for addressing these particular issues. I hope he does.

My Lords, as the Committee knows, I am supportive of this Bill because it brings in provision for the regulation of pedicabs. I will leave it to my noble friend the Minister to respond on why it is not possible to include e-scooters and e-bikes; I guess that it is probably because the Bill is called the Pedicabs (London) Bill and the Government would not be able to cover them in it. However, I share a lot of the concerns raised about e-scooters and e-bikes. Although I did not say anything in support of those who made these points at Second Reading, that was probably because this issue started getting raised after I spoke.

I am pleased that we have pedicabs legislation, which has always been my focus. I want to raise e-scooters with my noble friend none the less. Because there has been no legislation, as has been pointed out, I am really alarmed that the Government are extending their trial of rental e-scooters for a further two years, to May 2026. What really concerns me about this— I have raised it on several occasions in different contexts and debates—is that, at the moment, it is illegal for private e-scooters to be on our roads outside those rental schemes. The longer this trial goes on, the more the take-up increases. I do not think I have ever seen anyone tackled. As I have said before in this Room, I have even witnessed somebody come on to the Parliamentary Estate on an e-scooter, past the policemen on the gate, and not be challenged at all. When I asked a police officer on the gate, “Why haven’t you stopped that person riding a vehicle that’s not permitted on the road?”, they shrugged their shoulders at me.

If this is to continue, something has to be done about enforcement around these vehicles. They cause so much distress to people, as has been described, and are dangerous because of the batteries used. It is not good enough for a lack of parliamentary time to be raised as an excuse when the use of them, in an illegal fashion, is growing all the time.

My Lords, by keeping on extending the trials, the Government are in effect implicitly making e-scooters legal because it will be impossible for them at some point to say, “We’re going to stop the trials. This is now an illegal activity”. In essence, it is a nod and a wink to say that it is okay to run them. They have done the evaluation so why do they need more trials? It is difficult to see how this is going to come to a satisfactory ending.

I agree. Their legal use is being made possible by stealth, basically. That is why people continue to use them with impunity. They know—or, presumably, they assume—that nobody will bother to challenge them in the first place.

My Lords, I support this little debate that we are having, in particular the comments made by the noble Lord, Lord Foster of Bath, about the fire risk. I, too, have been studying this. It seems that not only are we accepting that e-scooters and some e-bikes are in effect legal because nobody is stopping them, as noble Lords have said; there are still no manufacturing standards to give one any confidence. If these bikes or scooters—or even cars—are not manufactured properly, they could set themselves on fire. That is where we are starting from.

It seems extraordinary that we have got this far. We are not allowed to bring the batteries into some places but, much more seriously, we have seen three big fires this year. There was a report in the press this week about several cars catching fire. Luton Airport car park had a fire; I am told that the fire brigade is absolutely certain that it was not caused by lithium ion but it has not produced any evidence to support that. Looking at the way the fire transmits itself from one car to the next—the worst gases and fire go downwards rather than upwards and then along, obviously, because they hit the deck—I will be very suspicious until I see some independent resource and authority which says that these things are 100% safe. I may have mentioned before that a ship sank off the coast of the Netherlands in the summer with several hundred new lithium ion battery cars in it. One of them apparently set itself on fire, which happens occasionally. Luckily, nobody was hurt, but the ship sank eventually because there is no way of putting out the fire, as other noble Lords have said.

Whether it is a scooter, bike, car or something else, is it not about time that we had a manufacturing standard before these things are allowed to be imported at all? In the meantime, perhaps the Minister and his colleagues could give us some advice as to how not to set ourselves on fire.

My Lords, this has been a very significant debate. My contribution to this group is Amendment 48, which I will come to in a moment.

I point out that this is a rapidly evolving scenario. When complaints were first made about pedicabs in London, just after the turn of the century, there were no e-bikes. It is therefore a huge mistake for the Government to have limited the scope of this legislation, which is written so tightly that it cannot be expanded to take in new technology. I agree wholeheartedly with the noble Lord, Lord Hunt, about the missed opportunity of having two random transport Bills and a lack of joined-up thinking on these issues.

At Second Reading, we had an impassioned debate, led in part by the noble Lord, Lord Blencathra, who is not here today, about the urgent need to deal with the much more widespread problems of e-scooters and e-bikes that noble Lords have talked about—their danger both to users, who are mostly young, especially with e-scooters, and to pedestrians. I commend to the Minister the report on this issue of the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety. I declare an interest as an officer of that group.

The rising death and injury toll has been mentioned by others. There is a prevalence of head injuries because of the centre of gravity of e-scooters, which is different from that of ordinary push bikes. There is a complete inconsistency and lack of joined-up thinking in the Minister and his Government’s thinking on this, given the existence of electric pedicabs.

The noble Lords, Lord Blencathra and Lord Hunt, and I all tried, without success, to expand the scope of this Bill. Amendment 48 is my pale imitation of other bolder attempts to do this that were rejected. The reference in my amendment to the need for a review in 12 months is my effort to ask the Government to bring this back in 12 months’ time and expand it, in the interests of a broader outlook.

Many noble Lords across the House raised issues around safety, which the Government have said is at the heart of the case for the Bill. As my noble friends Lord Storey and Lord Foster referred to, it is about the safety both of those operating the pedicabs and of the batteries. Also mentioned this afternoon was the safety of e-bikes in terms of their stopping distance—they are often modified to be able to go faster than they were originally designed to do. We must bear in mind that, if you add the extra weight of passengers and a cab at the back, their stopping distance is often very poor. They are therefore dangerous.

The noble Baroness, Lady Stowell, rightly and justifiably drew attention to the dangers and risks associated with yet another extension to the so-called trials on e-bikes. This Christmas, thousands more e-scooters and e-bikes will be bought. Unsafe practices are becoming so entrenched: riding without helmets, for example, and there are many other issues. These unsafe practices will be impossible to reverse suddenly through regulation in a couple of years’ time, so I support all noble Lords who have spoken on this group of amendments.

My Lords, before I get on to the points in this group on e-scooters and e-bikes, including the clause standing part, I will deal briefly with the others. The points made by the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, on Amendments 7 and 9 seem sensible. I can think of no reason why something on those lines could not be incorporated in further government amendments. On Amendment 16, the noble Baroness, Lady Stowell, and my noble friend here spoke on the need for the strict regulation of people who are licensed. Again, we strongly support that.

The main question that people have raised is about e-powered pedicabs, e-scooters and e-bikes. On this side of the Committee, we were hoping that the Government were going to live up to their promise to produce a comprehensive transport Bill, which would have covered rail and bus licensing, and all these other issues. They have completely failed to do that and decided just to go for two relatively minor issues: pedicabs and autonomous vehicles. These have merits in themselves, of course, but it is disappointing that the Government have not given us the opportunity for a comprehensive look at transport regulation.

I hope the Minister will listen to the strength of feeling that has been expressed in this Committee about the Government’s failure to come up with a credible policy on e-scooters and e-bikes. I think he must realise that this is not a party question; it is a question of public safety on which people are looking for action. Maybe this Bill has been drawn up such that it cannot offer that action but, on Report, the House is entitled to expect a full statement from the Government on their intentions to regulate in this area. I ask the Minister quite bluntly: is it his intention that he will come forward with that statement before we come to Report?

My Lords, this third group of amendments has covered a range of policy matters. I will again endeavour to address the issues raised in turn, but I point out at the outset that the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, referred to the intentions of the Government to restrict. It is really not the intention of the Government to restrict the use of these pedicabs. We understand that they are enjoyed by visitors; the intention is solely to ensure that they are safe and properly licensed.

Amendment 7 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, seeks to place requirements on who Transport for London must consult before making pedicab regulations. The Government understand the intention behind this amendment, but it is not immediately clear that this would have a practical impact. Transport for London is fully supportive of this Bill and has a clear interest in its provisions being applied correctly through regulations. It consults frequently on a wide range of issues and is well versed in conducting public consultations of this nature. In fact, it has already indicated that a pedicab consultation would be extensively publicised and promoted to the pedicab industry, members of the public and stakeholders, including the police, London boroughs and resident and business groups. I hope this provides the noble Lord with some reassurance.

The noble Lord asked about where they can operate. It is clear that regulations may be made for the purpose of regulating pedicabs in London. Practically, pedicabs operate in Westminster and central London hotspots, and Clause 2(1) will also allow Transport for London to place conditions on their licences.

The Minister said that they operate in London—what is the definition of London? I met some people today who were talking about pedicabs in Paris. Apparently, there is a big problem with them around Charles de Gaulle Airport. I do not know whether that is within the definition of Paris. These people may suddenly decide to sort things out at Heathrow or Gatwick, so is there a geographical limit to which these regulations will apply?

I venture to suggest to the noble Lord that this is a matter for Transport for London when it forms the regulations. It is not for me to suggest, but it might decide that they will apply within the London boroughs.

Amendment 9, also tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, seeks to define objectives to which Transport for London must have regard in making pedicab regulations. Transport for London has confirmed that, in establishing a licensing regime for pedicabs, public safety will be its primary concern. Beyond this, it has stated that it recognises the need for regulations to tackle issues such as noise nuisance, street and pavement congestion and excessive charging. This should offer comfort to the noble Lord about Transport for London’s intentions. These matters are likely to form part of the public consultation and continue to inform Transport for London’s thinking as regulations are developed. Furthermore, issues raised by this amendment such as safety, fare control and licensing are covered by provisions contained in the Bill. Therefore, at this stage, it is not appropriate to constrain or pre-empt the consultation or pedicab regulations by being overly prescriptive in the Bill.

The noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath, is seeking to probe why e-scooters and e-bikes are not covered in Clause 1, as mentioned by other noble Lords. The Bill is limited in scope and focused on addressing the legal anomaly relating to London’s pedicabs. As such, practically, it extends to Greater London only and its focus is pedal cycles used for transporting passengers for hire or reward. The inclusion of e-scooters and e-bikes would appear at odds with this scope. E-scooters and e-bikes are generally used by individuals to undertake personal travel. They are not used to transport passengers for hire or reward. Consequently, the issues that this Bill seeks to address do not appear to apply to e-scooters or e-bikes.

There is also national legislation, not limited just to Greater London as this Bill is, that applies to e-scooters and e-bikes. E-bikes are already regulated by the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983, while e-scooters are considered motor vehicles under the Road Traffic Act 1988. As such, e-scooters are illegal to use anywhere other than on private land or as part of government trials unless they meet the requirements of motor vehicles in terms of technical requirements, insurance, registration and so on.

The Government recognise that there are issues with e-scooters that we need to address, but this Bill is not the appropriate place to do so. As has been mentioned, we recently extended the e-scooter trials until 31 May 2026 to continue to gather evidence on how best to legislate for micromobility, including e-scooters, in future. Given the pressure on legislative time, that legislation will not come forward in this Session, unfortunately. Ahead of that, the Government intend to consult on the detailed approach for regulating e-scooters; I believe that that consultation and the future legislation will be the appropriate place for noble Lords’ points to be addressed.

That being the case, is there any instruction, guidance or request that the Government can make of the police in the intervening period to enforce the law around the private use of e-scooters on public roads?

It is a matter for the police to administer in terms of any offences that may be caused, but I take my noble friend’s point. I will take her point back to the department.

The Minister mentioned a forthcoming consultation on e-scooters. I realise that this is a difficult issue for him, by the way; I am not trying to be difficult. Can he give us any indication of when it might take place and whether a consultation paper on this subject will be produced in the next month or two? If he cannot do so this afternoon, will he come back to us quickly on the Government’s plans for this consultation? He must recognise that there is tremendous strength of feeling on this issue and that the Government will have to do something to assuage the strong feelings in this House.

I understand the strength of feeling. I will certainly ensure that we write with any information regarding a forthcoming consultation.

I turn to Amendment 12 in the name of my noble friend Lord Leigh of Hurley, which seeks to require Transport for London to carry out its pedicab licensing functions with a view to promoting the prevention of crime and disorder, public safety, the prevention of public nuisance and the protection of children from harm. Although the Government agree that these are important aims, the Licensing Act 2003 focuses on the licensing of the sale of alcohol and tobacco, as well as the provision of entertainment. Taxi and private hire vehicle licensing is not included in the scope of the 2003 Act. This means that these objectives do not apply to pedicabs outside London, where they are regulated as taxis. In fact, the taxi and private hire vehicle legislation that applies in England, as well as what applies in London specifically, does not explicitly state the objective of licensing as it was introduced for the protection of the public through regulation. Therefore, the approach proposed by my noble friend does not seem appropriate in this case. I instead point to the relevant statutory duties and requirements placed on Transport for London as a public body overseeing services to the public.

I turn to Amendment 14 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Liddle. It seeks to expand Clause 2(4) so that pedicab licensing fees could be set at a level that enables investment in wider transport infrastructure in Greater London. The Government feel that this amendment would impose an unfair burden on pedicab drivers and operators—one that goes beyond the established principles on how licensing fees are set by local authorities. It would result in a different approach to pedicab licensing compared to taxis, which pedicabs are licensed as outside of London, and private hire vehicles. The Government’s intention in enabling Transport for London to regulate pedicabs is to help the emergence of a sustainable and well-regulated sector. This amendment may discourage reputable pedicab drivers and operators from continuing to ply their trade.

I apologise for forgetting to mention that amendment in my speech. What made us put it forward is the fact that there are a lot of problems with pedicab parking. They may require adjustments to roads and pavements, which can be quite expensive for local authorities; I know that as a former member of one. It seems only reasonable to us that such costs should be recoverable.

I understand where the noble Lord is coming from but I am afraid that it does not alter my response to his submission.

I move next to Amendment 16 in the names of the noble Lords, Lord Liddle and Lord Storey, which I will address alongside Amendment 31, also in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Liddle. These amendments relate to enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks for pedicab drivers and operators. Amendment 16 would make these checks compulsory and Amendment 31 would require the Government to bring forward the necessary regulations within 90 days of this Bill receiving Royal Assent.

Amendment 16 would bring parity for London’s pedicab drivers with taxi and private hire vehicle drivers—including pedicab drivers outside London, where pedicabs are regulated as taxis. Transport for London has been clear that an effective licensing regime must be underpinned by enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks, and has raised the associated risks of bringing forward regulations without this requirement in place. This is a matter that the Government are actively looking into. We have requested that Transport for London submit evidence clearly making the case for these checks; this will be assessed in due course.

However, making pedicab drivers in London subject to enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks will, following the passage of this Bill, require changes to the Police Act 1997 (Criminal Records) Regulations 2002, as amended, and the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. There is no guarantee that this can be done in parallel with the Bill.

Amendments 47 and 48 have been tabled in the names of the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, and the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson. They seek to add a statutory requirement for there to be consultation or a review period for pedicab regulations.

Amendment 47 proposes to add a further consultation requirement six months after the Bill comes into force. Its purpose is to assess whether pedicabs should be prohibited in London or have conditions placed on their operations based on safety concerns.

Amendment 48 proposes that a 12-month review of pedicab regulations becomes a statutory requirement, its purpose being to assess the necessity of further regulations. The Government understand that the intention of the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, and the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, is potentially to broaden the scope of the Bill so that e-scooters and e-bikes fall within it. As I have set out, the Government are continuing to gather evidence to support further policy development in this area, which noble Lords have already discussed. The Bill’s scope is narrow and focused on addressing the legal anomaly relating to pedicabs in London.

As regards a review, the Government agree that, as this legislation paves the way for the first regulatory regime designed specifically for pedicabs, the impact of regulations will need to be reviewed. The timescales proposed by these amendments would not allow sufficient time to assess the impact of regulation adequately, as there will no doubt be a need for regulations to bed in and sufficient time will be needed to gather evidence. However, the Government are committed to undertaking a voluntary review of the policy five years post implementation and would work with Transport for London to conduct this assessment.

Amendment 47 has nothing to do with e-bikes or e-scooters; it is about power-assisted pedicabs. It suggests that TfL must consult

“persons as they consider to have an interest … on whether to prohibit … the use of power-assisted pedicabs in Greater London on grounds of safety”.

Many noble Lords have spoken about the safety risks, including me. This is purely about power-assisted pedicabs and whether there should be a review of the safety of the power bit—obviously—of pedicabs. It is nothing to do with e-scooters or e-bikes. I would be grateful if the Minister could either respond to it now or write to me about the grounds of safety of power-assisted pedicabs in the review.

I take the noble Lord’s point; I will have to come back to him in writing on that.

I turn to Amendment 52, the final amendment in this group, in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Liddle. It seeks to bring forward the commencement of this Bill to immediately after it receives Royal Assent. The two-month period is a standard convention for government Bills. A benefit of this approach is that it provides sufficient time for the pedicab industry, in particular reputable operators, to prepare for the introduction of licensing and a regulated industry. In this case, there appears to be no practical advantage to the Bill coming into force immediately. During the two-month period between Royal Assent and the Bill’s provisions coming into force, Transport for London will be able to undertake preparatory work such as developing its consultation.

I turn to the points made by the noble Lords, Lord Berkeley and Lord Foster, on batteries, which we will cover a little later on in consideration of this Bill.

My Lords, when the Minister comes to address Amendment 47 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley—he said he would write to him about that—would he mind also addressing the point about pedicabs that are no longer powered by pedal? By what regulations are they then caught? We are seeing bicycles surreptitiously masquerading as bicycles when they are in fact motor vehicles. If he could address that point, that would be very helpful, but he does not need to do so now.

My Lords, we have had a wide-ranging debate on this group of amendments. I am sure that we all have a lot to think about. On some things, I hope that the Minister will come back to us with some answers; for others, we will probably have to wait for another Bill—under another Government, even. However, on that basis, I beg leave to withdraw Amendment 7.

Amendment 7 withdrawn.

Amendments 8 and 9 not moved.

Clause 1 agreed.

Clause 2: Licences, fares and other matters

Amendment 10 not moved.

Amendment 11

Moved by

11: Clause 2, page 1, line 18, leave out subsection (2)

Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment seeks to probe why existing legislation is not sufficient to cover immigration status and right to work checks.

My Lords, Amendment 11 is in my name. I want to preface my remarks by making it absolutely clear that I am in no way arguing that people who are not legal immigrants should be able to ply this trade. I am simply surprised to see this statement in the legislation, because it is unusual to have something saying that nobody who has not been legally accepted as an immigrant can do this work. This is the type of statement where, when it is put forward in an amendment by the Opposition, the Government reject that provision because they say that it is already adequately stated in other legislation, therefore there is no need to say it again. Their argument goes along these lines: if we included a statement such as this, it would bring forward questions about other conditions that need to be included, and which we all take for granted in relation to a particular occupation, as well as similar issues that are not being restated in the legislation. However, all legislation takes into account previous legislation and what exists as conditions stated in that legislation.

Let us look at the Government’s reasoning in this. They appear to say that there is a prevalence of illegal immigrants involved in this occupation. I fear that that is simply a result of the fact that it has gone unregulated for more than two decades; as a result, it has been a free-for-all. When it comes under much-needed and long-overdue regulation, it will be treated in the same way as we treat taxi drivers: they have to be a fit and proper person; they have to be legally allowed to work; they must have no criminal convictions of a designated type; and they must have a driving licence. I do not understand why we cannot just take that approach here.

If the Minister thinks that it is necessary to have this subsection, as I am sure he will say, can he tell us whether it will become a standard provision in all legislation that involves people’s professions and occupations? Whatever we look at—whether it is teaching or medicine, for example—will we start off by saying, “No one who isn’t a legal immigrant can do this job”? Otherwise, I do not understand why we are saying it here.

The other amendments in my name in this group include Amendment 17, which has cross-party support—I am very grateful for that—and stresses the importance of regulations on noise; Amendment 18 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Blencathra, is similar. The evidence is that complaints about noise from pedicabs have become increasingly frequent since the pandemic. Basically, what has happened is this: during the pandemic, in this industry—as in so many—there was a crisis and there is increasing competition between pedicab operators. The way they draw attention to and advertise themselves is noise. In fact, noise is the No. 1 complaint of local residents, as opposed to that of the people who take pedicabs. They appear to be immune to it; otherwise, they would not choose the one making it, I suppose. This issue desperately needs some attention. Can the Minister assure us that the regulations will cover noise?

My Amendment 23 relates to the need for a cap on the numbers of pedicabs—I know that local residents think that this is also a good idea. As competition has got fiercer, the numbers of pedicabs operating from inappropriate positions have become an increasing problem. Throughout the UK, it is common for there to be a regulation on the numbers of taxis given permission to operate; the same approach would seem sensible for pedicabs.

Finally, Amendment 26 suggests that the regulations must also cover the issue of cab ranks. Once again, the theme here is the convenience of local residents and their peace and quiet. Because there is noise and so on, the ranks are very intrusive. We have cab ranks for taxis, so there should also be appropriately designated places for pedicabs.

I will make a special plea. The problems associated with the closure of Hammersmith Bridge, which have gone on for years, are very serious for local residents. Let us turn a negative into a positive: pedicabs offer an opportunity for local residents to hire one to cross the bridge, which would be really useful. The local MP, Sarah Olney, has been running a campaign to encourage the Department for Transport to consider this and to designate cab ranks on either side of the bridge to enable that to happen. My simple request is for the Minister to agree to meet me and the local MP to discuss this issue and its appropriateness. I would be grateful for his consideration of that.

My Lords, I have added my name to Amendments 17 and 18, in the names of the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, and my noble friend Lord Blencathra, both of which relate to noise. I add that I am sympathetic to the noble Baroness’s Amendment 26 and the points she raised about cab ranks—I do not mean those to do with Hammersmith Bridge specifically. She makes an interesting argument about the provision for ranks for pedicabs.

As I said on the other group, I am grateful to my noble friend for his letter to all Peers. In Transport for London’s note, which was attached to his letter, it was encouraging to see that it proposes to introduce regulations that will cover, as part of the conduct of drivers, the playing of loud music and causing a disturbance. As I said at Second Reading, the loud music played and amplified by pedicabs is the greatest concern that gets raised by business owners and residents—the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, is right about that.

I was a little concerned that, in the note TfL prepared, it suggests that some noise offences are already covered by existing legislation. When I read this, I thought that, in that case, either the existing laws are inadequate, or—to return to enforcement—the enforcement of them is not good enough. I acknowledge that, in his letter, my noble friend pointed out that Westminster City Council and the Metropolitan Police have issued penalty notices that have raised around £30,000 in fines over the last two years.

However, I am concerned that the focus on noise will be about night-time noise. It is not only at night that pedicabs and the playing of loud, amplified noise is a problem; it is a serious problem during the day as well. In my noble friend’s opening speech at Second Reading, he referred to the problem of

“blasting loud music at all hours of the night”.—[Official Report, 22/11/23; col. 768.]

In his closing remarks, he referred to the fines issued by the Metropolitan Police or Westminster City Council, saying specifically that these were for the playing of music “after 9 pm”.

One of the reasons I am keen to see noise added to the relevant clause in the Bill is that noise and the playing and loud amplification of music is the most significant concern that people have about pedicabs, as I said at Second Reading. I am also concerned to ensure that TfL will take an approach that ensures that the loud amplification of music will not be allowed at all hours, not just after 9 pm. I would be grateful for my noble friend’s response to that.

My Lords, I will pursue some of the issues I raised in the debate on a previous group of amendments about the safety of the lithium ion batteries that power many pedicabs, including those that have loudspeakers to provide the noise we have just heard about.

Many noble Lords may not be aware that a fully charged lithium ion battery contains as much energy and potential energy as the equivalent of six hand grenades. If something goes wrong, it can lead to a thermal runaway, which can lead to temperatures reaching over 600 degrees centigrade, as I mentioned earlier. It can release toxic gases that can seriously damage a human’s lungs. The fires are very difficult to put out because they create their own oxygen, which means that special techniques have to be used.

Having said all that, a properly designed and constructed lithium ion battery is inherently pretty safe, unless people do stupid things with it, such as charging it with the wrong charging system, banging it and not being concerned about any damage that they might see, and so on. That is the problem. I do not want to say that lithium ion batteries are bad because, frankly, we desperately need them for many of the developments in transportation and other areas. It is therefore vital that we think about regulations for how we use them, to avoid those problems occurring. Although it is not covered in these amendments, I also hope consideration is given to how we dispose of them when they are no longer in use.

Amendments 21 and 22 in my name and those of the noble Lords, Lord Berkeley, Lord Hunt and Lord Blencathra, address two particular issues: the charging of those batteries and the batteries themselves. The real concern over the charging of the batteries is that there is currently no set of standards for lithium ion battery chargers and therefore no way for us to check them. If you connect the wrong charger—one not designed for your particular battery—it can power it too quickly or too slowly, possibly leading to damage which can, in turn, cause a problem. There is also the issue of where you charge it so that it is in a safe environment, and so on.

Following the advice of my noble friend Lady Randerson, I would not dream of saying what precisely the regulations should be—that is for Londoners to decide for themselves—but I imagine they would include reference to the charging location in relation to the chargers used, the displaying of signs for safe charging and so on. Amendment 21 basically says that we need a set of regulations on this.

Amendment 22 is about the battery itself. It is bizarre that fireworks, for instance, are covered by a number of safety regulations, with independent bodies checking whether the required standards have been met, but the same does not apply for lithium ion batteries. The same ought to apply, which is why the amendment says that the CE or UKCA mark should be applied and that a conformity assessment body should be set up to establish that they are there. It is really important that action is taken on the charging of batteries and on the batteries themselves. As I have said, I would prefer that to be widened out to cover e-bikes and e-scooters, but we have had that debate. However, these are two important issues that we should address for pedicabs.

I end with a point that I hope the Minister will take back to discuss with his officials. Even if we do some of these things for the batteries, such as giving them the appropriate markings, there will still be a real problem. My noble friend Lady Randerson mentioned the number of batteries in e-bikes that will be bought over Christmas. As she will be well aware, many of those will be bought online. Lithium ion batteries are also often bought online, not least in conversion kits that might be used to turn pedicabs that are currently not powered into ones that are. There are not the same support mechanisms, back-up and control systems for purchasing electrical goods online that there are for purchasing such things in a shop. That is another issue with these batteries, both for pedicabs and in other cases, that I hope the Government will look at.

Together, these two amendments will improve the safety of pedicabs. They will not address noise or other issues that have been raised, but they are important to consider.

My Lords, I lend my support to Amendment 17 in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, and Amendment 18 in the name of my noble friend Lord Blencathra.

I spoke about this at Second Reading, when I was very clear that it is one of the most important issues. It is probably the reason we are considering the Bill and why it was brought forward. The operation of pedicabs undoubtedly causes a very substantial noise nuisance. If those who operate them had a self-denying ordinance and turned the music down, we probably would not be sitting here today—but the fact is that they do not.

I regularly walk in the evening from your Lordships’ House to where I stay in central London, and one sees and hears these vehicles causing a great disturbance. One is very sympathetic to those who, for example, operate businesses—a restaurant, gallery or any other business premises—in central London near where the pedicabs congregate. The sound of a collection of them competing with each other for custom with very loud, amplified music that can come from a boom box that costs £200, or something of that nature, is significant.

We have heard arguments that some of this is caught by existing regulations, and that extremely modest amounts of fines have been raised, but that has clearly not been effective, which is why we are debating the Bill today. I strongly believe that there ought to be a specific instruction in the Bill—or, at the very least, a facilitation—that allows specific regulations to be brought on the broadcasting of amplified noise in the context of these vehicles.

My Lords, I have added my name to Amendments 17 and 18 about noise, but I do not think that there is anything useful for me to add about them.

I have also added my name to Amendment 24 about pedicabs using cycle lanes. I am a frequent and enthusiastic renter of e-scooters and find that they are the most wonderful way of travelling around London. However, there is a contradiction between the TfL policy about cycle lanes and pedicabs and the policy note we all got. The TfL website definitely says that only bicycles of any kind and e-scooters “can use cycle lanes”; but the policy note, under “cycle lanes”, says that pedicabs are allowed to use them.

There are three routes that I most commonly use when I rent e-scooters. The first is west to east across Kensington Gardens and Hyde Park. A pedicab on those cycle lanes would need at least one wheel in the park and not on the cycle lane, so would completely obstruct any bicycles or e-scooters coming the other way. Secondly, from Waterloo to either the Red Lion or the College Green so-called parking area, it would simply be too narrow for pedicabs. Anyone who has tried to bicycle over any of the bridges will know that the cycle lanes are not very wide, so pedicabs simply would not fit. Thirdly, from here to Soho, e-scooters or bicycles can go—as can pedicabs—the whole way on bus lanes. To solve the contradiction, I hope that we can come down on the side of the TfL website, which says that no pedicabs are allowed in cycle lanes, rather than the policy briefing we all had, which says that they could.

I will say a few words about e-scooters, e-bikes and power-assisted pedicabs, because e-scooters have got a rather bad write-up around here. However, if any noble Lords would like to meet me at either College Green or the Red Lion one sunny day, we could go on a very enjoyable scoot around one of the royal gardens; I am sure that they would be convinced that it is a wonderfully safe and slow way to get around. The term “e-bikes” covers a very broad range of vehicles. For example, the Brompton e-bike of the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, and my VanMoof e-bike do not work until you start pedalling. But we have all seen, especially for delivery vehicles, bicycles now with token pedals which are entirely electrically operated. When we talk about e-bikes, we need to bear that in mind.

I have never driven a pedicab, unlike an e-bike or e-scooter, but I imagine that, when fully loaded with up to three passengers, moving off from a red light without power assistance would be dangerous, because it would be so slow. Some kind of electrical assistance is therefore needed. It is important that we stipulate that it is electrical assistance like that of the Brompton of the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, or of my VanMoof; in other words, one has to shove on the pedal for it to kick in, rather than just press a button.

Incidentally, that is easy to override with an app. It is supposed to be limited to 25 kilometres or 15.5 miles an hour, but anyone can buy an app, say you are living in Canada or something, and the whole thing is bypassed. I appreciate that this is a separate subject, but I would like some clarification about cycle lanes, because it could be easily solved.

My Lords, I added my name to Amendment 18, which I am speaking to in the absence of my noble friend Lord Blencathra. I agree with all the amendments that seek to amend Clause 2(6). I remind your Lordships, and particularly the Minister, that this subsection includes the word “may”. Unless my amendment returns on Report with the word “must” in it, it will not have any bite. As much as I welcome all these amendments going through, they must go through with mine.

My noble friend Lord Strathcarron did not mention his excellent Amendment 19, requesting

“a prominently displayed registration plate with a distinct number”.

Unless we have that, the authorities really will be toothless, because how can someone report a pedicab that has breached the rules without some sort of identification of it? There is no point telling the police, “It’s the one with the blue lights and the red lights”, because that does not limit the field. I hope my noble friend does not mind me speaking to his amendment.

I have reservations about e-scooters. I admire my noble friend enormously for being brave enough to take one. I run regularly on much the same routes—20 miles a week, since you ask—and e-scooters are a menace for runners, frankly, particularly because they do not obey the rules of the Royal Parks.

My Lords, a great diversity of points has been raised on this group of amendments, most of which strike us as sensible. It is therefore up to the Government to see whether they could strengthen the references in the Bill to the issues on which TfL should consider regulating. The consensus that there should be a specific reference to noise is very strong, as this is a major cause of nuisance.

I fully support the reference to the need for pedicab ranks and stands, but it goes back to Amendment 14 in my name, from the previous group, which talks of charging for the costs of putting these things in place. They will require some changes in infrastructure that will cost money, which the local authority and TfL will be reluctant to spend.

Before my noble friend leaves that point, can I ask him whether he would like to see the same rule applied to taxis? Should the taxi community have to pay for its ranks?

Frankly, I have no idea what our policy is on this subject, but I am personally in favour of charges being related to costs.

The noble Lord, Lord Strathcarron, made some valid points about cycle lanes. You clearly cannot have one rule in place for the whole cycle lane network; you would need some restrictions.

On the more controversial points raised, I am very sympathetic to the need to ensure that batteries are of the necessary technical standard. If there are to be battery-powered pedicabs, they would have to meet the best standards.

The only point of disagreement is on the checks on immigration status, criminal records and all that. There has been a sufficient number of cases of abuse in the pedicabs sector, to my mind, to justify the ability to check these things more thoroughly than in other areas.

My Lords, this fourth group covers operational matters. I will now address each amendment in the group.

Amendment 11, in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, seeks to probe why existing legislation is not sufficient to cover immigration status and right-to-work checks. The Government’s expectation is that, as in the taxi and private hire vehicle industries, the majority of pedicab drivers will be self-employed. Self-employed individuals are not subject to right-to-work checks undertaken by employers under the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. The Immigration Act 2016 made immigration checks mandatory and embedded safeguards into existing licensing regimes across the UK. In London, this was achieved through amendments to the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869 and the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998. Clause 2(2) intends to ensure parity between a pedicab licensing regime in London and taxis and private hire vehicles. Its exclusion would create a gap, leading to the sector potentially being exploited by those who intend to work illegally.

Pedicab ranks, which were raised by the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, will be a matter for Transport for London to identify and establish. With regards to the Hammersmith Bridge issue that she mentioned, I am happy to meet but I suspect that, again, Transport for London will have to decide on that.

Amendments 17 and 18 have been tabled in the names of a number of noble Lords and relate to noise nuisance caused by pedicabs. I will therefore respond to them together, if I may. The Government are very aware of the concerns held by noble Lords and share them. The Government assure the Committee that they are taking this issue seriously and have sought assurance from Transport for London over its policy intentions. Transport for London has confirmed that pedicab regulations would cover the conduct of drivers, including playing loud music and causing disturbances.

Given Transport for London’s clear intention and the scope of Clause 2(6), which confers broad powers on to Transport for London, this would seem sufficient to address noble Lords’ concerns. However, the Government welcome the views shared in the Committee, and noble Lords will be pleased to hear that the question of whether this matter requires specific provision in the Bill remains open.

My Lords, I am hugely grateful to my noble friend for what he just said and welcome it very much. In considering whether this should be added to the Bill would he share with us whether, given my concern that noise is not only out of bounds after certain times but an issue 24 hours a day, that is something the Government can also take account of?

My noble friend raises a very valid point and something that we will take into account.

Amendment 19, in the names of my noble friends Lord Blencathra and Lord Strathcarron, Amendment 20, in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Liddle, and Amendment 21, in the names of my noble friend Lord Blencathra and the noble Lords, Lord Berkeley, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath and Lord Foster of Bath, all relate to Clause 2(6) of the Bill, so I will address them together.

The matters listed under Clause 2(6) are intended to provide a discretion for Transport for London to determine what is most appropriate in bringing forward pedicab regulations following a consultation. This is not an exhaustive list; it rather provides flexibility for Transport for London. However, the Bill is clear that pedicab regulations could cover matters such as the quality and roadworthiness of pedicabs; safety and insurance requirements; the equipment that must be carried on pedicabs; their appearance or markings; and testing requirements. The Government consider that this gives Transport for London sufficient scope to address issues, such as those covered by these amendments in pedicab regulations.

Amendment 22, in the names of my noble friend Lord Blencathra and the noble Lords, Lord Berkeley, Lord Hunt of Kings Heath and Lord Foster of Bath, seeks to require the batteries in power-assisted pedicabs bear the marking UK conformity assessed or the European equivalent—CE or conformité Européenne. These markings denote conformity with statutory requirements. I note that the requirement for power-assisted pedicabs to meet suitable product regulation is covered by existing law and therefore this amendment is not necessary; I will explain why this is the case.

As is the case with all e-cycles and e-scooters, power-assisted pedicabs need to comply with several product safety regulations. These include the Supply of Machinery (Safety) Regulations 2008. These regulations set out essential health and safety requirements for how the product must be designed and constructed.

Power-assisted pedicabs, as a whole product, are regulated under these regulations. These require manufacturers to ensure that pedicabs meet essential health and safety requirements and that the relevant conformity assessment procedure is undertaken. The manufacturer would then affix the UKCA or the CE marking before the product could be sold in the UK. To be sold lawfully on the UK market, power-assisted pedicabs must already have this marking. If they do not, they are in breach of the regulations.

Noble Lords may point to examples of pedicab drivers or operators adapting their power-assisted pedicabs after they have been purchased. Product regulations would not be relevant here; however, I again point to Clause 2(6) of the Bill, which provides scope for TfL to set out the expected standards for pedicabs through the regulations.

Pedicab batteries are not subject to a regime that requires the UKCA marking to be affixed to them, but the Office for Product Safety and Standards is in the process of reviewing the position with regard to these batteries. Once that review has taken place, my friend the Minister in the other place, Minister Hollinrake, will assess what appropriate and targeted action should be taken.

While pedicab batteries are not subject to an independent regime that requires the UKCA marking to be affixed to them, they must comply with the Batteries and Accumulators (Placing on the Market) Regulations 2008. This restricts the substances used in batteries and accumulators and sets out requirements for their environmentally friendly end of life.

Amendment 23, in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, seeks to allow Transport for London to place a cap on the total number of pedicabs operating in London. As the Committee is aware, the Bill will regulate the industry for the first time. The introduction of licensing is likely to see a short-term reduction in the number of pedicabs, as drivers exit the industry rather than apply for a licence. Over time, it is likely the industry will find a natural level in response to passenger demand.

The Government’s intention is to support the emergence of a safer, fairer and sustainable pedicab industry. This amendment could undermine the role of competition in that process. Competition benefits consumers by incentivising operators to give value for money to innovate and improve service standards. The existing powers in the Bill, which enable Transport for London to place limitations on pedicab operations under Clause 2(7)—including restricting the number of pedicabs operating in specified places or at specified times—are therefore considered sufficient to manage London’s pedicabs.

Amendment 24 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Liddle, seeks to prohibit pedicabs being driven in cycle lanes. As I have set out, Transport for London will be able to place limitations on where and when pedicabs can operate, under Clause 2(7) of the Bill. Transport for London has indicated that it will consider prohibiting pedicabs operating on major roads and tunnels, as it does already for cycles, in the interests of public safety. This will be an aspect of Transport for London’s consultation, prior to making pedicab regulations.

Amendment 25 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, proposes to empower the relevant traffic authorities—in this case, Transport for London and London boroughs—to designate pedicab ranks. Amendment 26 in the name of the noble Baroness, Lady Randerson, similarly relates to pedicab ranks, specifically seeking to make provision for Transport for London to designate them.

Transport for London has confirmed that it will give proper consideration to the question of dedicated road space for pedicabs, taking into account the needs of pedicab drivers, passengers and other road users. This approach draws on Transport for London’s significant experience in this area through managing taxi ranks. As I mentioned, proposals brought forward by Transport for London will be subject to a consultation and will likely require collaboration across relevant parties, including London boroughs and industry groups. Amendment 51 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, is consequential to Amendment 25.

Excessive fares can spoil a visitor’s trip to London, leaving a sour taste and affecting London’s reputation as a global hub for tourism. That is why Clause 2(5) of the Bill has been included. It confers powers on Transport for London to determine what fares pedicabs charge, and when and how passengers are informed of fares. Transport for London has been clear that it sees pedicab regulations as a chance to address disproportionate fares, as well as other negative impacts associated with pedicabs.

Regarding fines, Clause 3 sets out the suite of enforcement tools available to Transport for London in bringing forward pedicab regulations. These have been drafted to provide flexibility in the design of an effective regulatory regime. There is also the ultimate sanction, under Clause 2(1)(b) of the Bill, of revoking a licence for rogue pedicab operators or drivers. The Government consider the scope of these enforcement powers sufficient to tackle excessive fare charging.

I thank the Minister for his detailed response. We have had plenty of detail, which we can think about between now and Report.

I want briefly to pick out a couple of points that have been made. I re-emphasise the salutary point made by my noble friend Lord Foster about comparing the level of regulation on fireworks with the treatment of lithium batteries. It is part of a pattern that we see in so many fields: you get a build-up of public concern and statistics of incidents that lead to legislation, and the social change to go along with it. I hope that the Minister will take that message back to his colleagues.

The noble Lord, Lord Strathcarron, raised an important and complex issue around cycle lanes. It emphasises why these decisions need to be made at a local level where people understand exactly the issues, such as where one cycle lane is ridiculous and another is perfectly acceptable.

I thank the noble Lord, Lord Liddle, for his comments, which underline the way in which this sector has been neglected over decades.

It comes to my mind that there is, of course, the London Pedicab Operators Association. Has the Minister met it and taken any of its views into account? If he has not, it is referred to in briefings that we have been given as Members of this House; the fact that it exists and that it represents the sector suggests that there is real hope that regulation will improve things and could do so more rapidly than we might think.

I beg leave to withdraw my amendment.

Amendment 11 withdrawn.

Amendments 12 to 27 not moved.

Amendment 28

Moved by

28: Clause 2, page 2, line 34, leave out subsection (10)

Member’s explanatory statement

This amendment is intended to probe the intended meaning and impact of subsection 2(10).

My Lords, I shall be brief. Amendment 28 in my name is a probing amendment because I do not understand something. Clause 2(10) says:

“Pedicab regulations may … confer a discretion on Transport for London”


“confer power on Transport for London to authorise others to carry out functions under the regulations on their behalf”.

One could be very suspicious about that, or it may just be something that allows TfL to subcontract things. However, I would be pleased if the Minister could explain which it is because “discretion” can cover a wide variety of things.

I will speak briefly to Amendments 38 and 39 in my name, which are to do with consistency between the powers to immobilise and seize pedicabs and those available for motor vehicles. Clause 3(6) allows for pedicab regulations to authorise the

“immobilisation, seizure, retention and disposal of pedicabs that contravene, or are used in contravention of, the regulations”.

Of course, I do not object to any of that, but I hope that it will be taken by the Government and TfL as the sanctions being available only in serious cases. In theory, a pedicab could potentially be confiscated for minor offences, including those that might be committed unwittingly—you can see TfL doing that to a taxi driver who has contravened the regulations unwittingly. I hope the Minister will give me some comfort on that.

I beg to move.

My Lords, this is the first chance I have had to speak in this debate as I was involved in other business in another part of the House. I am delighted to be here at all since I was meant to travel yesterday; I think I must have reached a record in that three trains I was booked on were cancelled. I am just delighted to be here to discuss pedicabs—if I had taken a pedicab from the north of England, it might have been quicker to get here, but then I would not have been insured.

I welcome this Bill but, as the debates on earlier groups of amendments have shown, it does not go far enough in its current form. I will speak to Amendments 32, 35 and 36 in my name. I believe that these amendments are necessary because, on a reading of the Bill—in particular Clause 3(2)(a)—the penalties are simply not strong enough to reflect the gravity of a casualty that could occur through the use of a pedicab.

I may be raising points made earlier; I apologise that I could not be here for debates on earlier groups. When I did arrive, I listened very carefully to my noble friend, whom I congratulate on his new position, which is a very welcome role for him. He stated that existing legislation applies to e-scooters. I put it to him that the existing legislation is not being applied to e-scooters, e-bikes and regular bikes. I pray in aid the tragic case of Kim Briggs, the wife of Matt Briggs, who was simply crossing the road when an illegal bike with no brakes fitted at all knocked her down and killed her. At the moment, there are insufficient penalties. The offender was successfully prosecuted for her death, which was a direct result of the injuries that she sustained, but he could not be put away for anything other than the current minuscule offences in the Road Traffic Act.

Avid readers of the Order Paper will have noted that in the last three parliamentary Sessions I have tried to bring forward a Private Member’s Bill to plug that gap. The closest I came, sadly, was in the year when we were dealing with so many regulations relating to Covid that, as noble Lords will recall, no Private Members’ Bills were covered at all. Is my noble friend really satisfied that the existing regulations that apply to e-scooters, e-bikes and bikes are being applied? Why is it that on a daily basis in London, which is the remit of this Bill, and other parts of the country, people are being knocked down, sustaining serious injuries and in some cases being killed on pavements—which is strictly illegal for e-bikes, e-scooters and regular bikes?

The regulations are not being respected. If we stick with these pitiful, woeful enforcement measures in Clause 2, can my noble friend tell the Committee—I pay tribute to his years of service in the police force—who will monitor this? Will TfL have agents on the street to ensure that, for pedicabs, which are covered by this Bill, the measures that will be covered by these woeful, small penalties will be enforced? Who will it be? If it is not TfL—I hazard a guess that it will not be; it will be the British Transport Police or the Met Police—and they will not apply the regulations that already apply to e-bikes, e-scooters and regular bikes, who on earth imagines that they will apply them to pedicabs? Who is telling them to do this? I know this was mentioned earlier and I regret that I was not here to participate in that debate, but why are the Government not taking charge for this Bill, as I understand they did for other aspects of road traffic Acts in the past?

Clearly, the regulations that currently apply to e-bikes, e-scooters and bikes are not working. My noble friend said that there was no legislative time to bring in the next raft of regulations that will apply to them. Here we have it; we have a Bill before us today that is going through the House very quickly, with one day in Committee. Why, pray God, can we not attach it to this Bill, to prevent any further accidents and casualties on our pavements and other parts of the road?

My noble friend pointed out that you have to be licensed and insured to drive an e-scooter on private land, as is currently the case. I understand the level of casualties to be high—unfortunately I was not organised enough to bring the reply from my noble friend Lord Sharpe in this regard—but the Government do not keep the figures, so we simply do not know how many fines or penalties have been issued for that category.

I welcome the fact that pedicabs will be licensed; that will make a big difference. Can my noble friend tell me what the case is for Deliveroo drivers? They seem to be the bane of my life in London, particularly those who drive regular scooters for months, if not years, with L-plates on. Is there not a category of time beyond which you have to pass a test? Who is monitoring whether they are not actually learner drivers but simply have no intention of passing a test? Who is checking whether they are legally able to work here and to drive said scooters? Has anybody asked whether they have even read the Highway Code and are they tested on it?

With those few remarks, I praise the Government for bringing forward the Bill, but I hope that my amendments show what is required to make sure the Road Traffic Act brings in these changes, which I tried but failed to do through my Private Member’s Bill. I hope my noble friend will look kindly on those suggestions.

My Lords, clearly the enforcement of the provisions of the Bill and the consequent regulations, however they are drafted by TfL, will be critical. My noble friend has made some pertinent points about the current enforcement of other forms of bicycles, e-bikes, scooters and so forth. My question to him is: what message can he send and what confidence can he give the Committee that the enforcement of whatever regulations eventually emerge will be taken seriously?

I quite agree with my noble friend that there seems to have been an abandonment, certainly in central London, of enforcement for contraventions of the Highway Code and traffic regulations by bicycles, e-scooters and the like. I guarantee that, if I were to walk to central London from your Lordships’ House, I would see vehicles without lights cycling the wrong way up streets. In fact, this morning as I was walking here, a delivery rider parked their e-scooter on the pavement of Jermyn Street at 90 degrees to the direction of flow of pedestrians, locked it like that and went in to deliver their goods.

That is wide of what we are talking about on the Bill today, but there is no point making regulations if they are not going to be enforced. Any law that is not enforced brings the Government, governance and law into disrepute. Perhaps my noble friend can say a word or two about how he sees this likely to be enforced in practice and say something a bit more broadly about the enforcement of motoring other than by camera, which is the default setting. We have seen the withdrawal of the police from enforcing what they may see as trivial road traffic regulations in central London in favour of things that are easier to do, such as putting up cameras, yellow box junctions, generating fines and so forth.

I appreciate that this might go slightly wide of the question under specific consideration today, but the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, and his amendments on enforcement raised very important considerations on the seizure of these vehicles. Nobody will take a blind bit of notice unless enforcement is taken seriously.

My Lords, I will follow up on the points about enforcement and penalties. I hear very much what the noble Baroness, Lady McIntosh, and the noble Viscount, Lord Goschen, said. My remarks will focus on something specific to pedicabs and their regulation: the level of fines that could be imposed on them. My Amendments 33 and 34 are relevant to this.

It seems that there is well-attested abuse, by a minority of pedicab drivers, of vulnerable customers, who are overcharged—vast amounts of money in some cases. Yet, as I understand it—I stand to be corrected if this is not the case—the maximum fine is at level 4, which is £2,500, rather than £5,000. I put it to the Government that unscrupulous people will regard a fine of £2,500 as a business expense, thinking they can pay the fine and continue to behave as badly as they do. Therefore, I believe there should be provision for a higher level of fines to deal with unscrupulous pedicab drivers.

My Lords, we come to the final group of amendments, focusing on enforcement. Amendment 28, in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, seeks to probe the intention and meaning of Clause 2(10). The Bill intends to give Transport for London a level of flexibility in designing pedicab regulations that are workable and meet its needs. This will be central to shaping a robust and effective regime. In achieving this aim, Transport for London has been clear that, as with taxi and private hire vehicle enforcement, it must be able to authorise others to carry out functions under the regulations on its behalf, such as enforcement activities. Clause 2(10) provides for this.

Amendments 32, 35 and 36, tabled by my noble friend Lady McIntosh, seek to add to the Bill provision covering death or serious injury caused by the careless, inconsiderate or dangerous use of pedicabs, with accompanying penalties. Of course, any death on our roads is a tragedy. Although we have some of the safest roads in the world, the Government are committed to making our roads even safer. The Government agree that dangerous cycling puts lives at risk. This is why there are already strict laws in place for cyclists, and the police have the power to prosecute if they are broken. They include laws to prosecute cyclists who cause bodily harm under Section 35 of the Offences against the Person Act 1861, which carries a maximum punishment of two years’ imprisonment. They also include cycling offences under the Road Traffic Act 1991 for careless cycling, with a maximum fine of £1,000, and dangerous cycling, with a maximum fine of £2,500. Furthermore, I am sure my noble friend will welcome the Department for Transport’s response to the consultation on death or serious injury by dangerous cycling, which will be published in due course.

However, we do not consider these amendments necessary. Pedicabs will be treated in the same way as pedal cycles, and their drivers will be treated as cyclists for the purpose of dangerous cycling offences. The exception would be if a pedicab is deemed a motor vehicle, in which case it would be subject to motoring offences.

My noble friend Lady McIntosh asked about enforcement; the noble Viscount, Lord Goschen, touched on this as well. Transport for London will have its own enforcement officers who work together with the police on this. I hear what the noble Viscount had to say about enforcement—or perhaps a lack of it. It is an operational matter for police and what he said is disappointing, but I certainly hear it loud and clear. As I said, it is for the police to respond to.

On the question that my noble friend Lady McIntosh raised, the figures, fines and penalties are an issue that lie with the Home Office. As for the Deliveroo L plate drivers and whether they are legally here, again, that is a policing matter. I am not too sure whether they can remain with L plates forever; we will have to write back to her on that. Certainly, that is a point well made.

Amendment 33 in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Liddle, seeks to increase the level of fines for offences committed under pedicab regulations from level 4 to level 5. This would mean that there would be no upper limit to the fines issued. The enforcement tools in the Bill are comprehensive, providing Transport for London with the scope to design an enforcement regime that can effectively target the rogue operators which have profited from a lack of regulation for too long. Clause 3(2), which this amendment seeks to change, is part of a suite of tools in the Bill.

Pedicab regulations will be able create offences providing for the giving of fixed-penalty notices or the imposition of penalties. These powers are supplemented by the ability to seize, immobilise, retain and dispose of pedicabs. There is also the ultimate sanction of stopping a pedicab driver or operator conducting business by revoking their license under Clause 2(1)(b). The Government expect Transport for London to take a view on how best to regulate the industry, subject to engagement with stakeholders and a public consultation. As the Committee is aware, pedicab regulations will be subject to approval by the Secretary of State. This should provide assurance to any noble Lords concerned by the scope of these powers.

Amendment 3, in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley, seeks to provide parity with civil enforcement powers applicable to contraventions committed by drivers and riders of motor vehicles. The power to impose civil penalties through pedicab regulations is explicitly tied to offences under Clause 3(1). These are not motoring offences; they relate to the provision of false or misleading information in connection with licences and the failure to comply with requirements, prohibitions and restrictions imposed by pedicab regulations. We therefore consider this amendment unnecessary.

I will address Amendments 39 and 49 together, which have again been tabled by the noble Lord, Lord Berkeley. These seek to place limitations on the immobilisation and seizure of pedicabs by making equivalent provisions to those relating to motor vehicles under Section 59 of the Police Reform Act 2002. This would amend Clause 3(6), which is intended to provide Transport for London with flexibility in designing pedicab regulations. The ability to immobilise, seize, retain and dispose of pedicabs that are illegal, or used illegally, and to target rogue operators will help establish a more sustainable and reputable pedicab industry in London. Limiting Transport for London’s powers in the manner proposed in this amendment could potentially remove the possibility of pedicabs that are not roadworthy, unsafe or are being used consistently in contravention of the regulations, being removed from London’s streets. However, the powers under Clause 3(6), are subject to safeguards in the Bill.

I hear what the Minister says about the impounding of pedicabs and things like that. It may be quite necessary and justified. Are there similar powers available now in respect of TfL and taxis? It should be proportionate, should it not?

I hear what the noble Lord says, but I am not sure that it should be proportionate. If he is concerned about the powers, I was going on to say that the powers under Clause 3(6) are subject to safeguards in the Bill. They are achieved by Clause 4(3), which provides a right to request that a decision to immobilise, seize, retain, and dispose of a pedicab is reconsidered and a right to appeal the decision at a magistrates’ court. I also note that the Bill paves the way for a separate pedicab licensing regime. The intention of this amendment to make equivalent provision to powers to immobilise and seize vehicles under another regime is therefore not likely to be the most appropriate course of action.

Amendment 49 is consequential to Amendment 39, and I have addressed that in my remarks.

I will now move to Amendment 40, the final amendment of this group and the last one that I will address in Committee. It is in the name of my noble friend Lord Blencathra and seeks to expand the list of bodies that could exercise powers contained under Clause 3(6). As I have set out, this subsection contains an important power in the suite of enforcement tools that will be available through pedicab regulations. Transport for London has been clear that it will work with the Metropolitan Police and London boroughs to conduct enforcement. Powers contained in the Bill already allow Transport for London to confer functions on to other authorities, as it deems necessary, to support an effective enforcement regime.

That draws my remarks to a close. I thank noble Lords for taking the time to discuss the Bill today. The diligence that the Committee has shown has allowed for a thorough examination of the Bill and its purpose. I am grateful for this and look forward to continuing to discuss the Bill with noble Lords during its parliamentary passage.

Before the noble Lord sits down, I thank him for his comprehensive response, which we can examine at our leisure. The one part of it that I find unsatisfactory is the point about fines. I must say to him that, unless the Government move on this issue, we will raise this matter on Report.

I understand the noble Lord’s concern. It is something that we will discuss back in the department, but whether it will change is another matter.

I am grateful to all noble Lords who have spoken on this fifth group of amendments. We have had some very useful discussions and I shall read Hansard with great interest tomorrow. We will see whether we come back on this on Report or have some further meetings. I am sure that the Minister will be open to meetings—he has already said he would be. On that basis, I beg leave to withdraw this amendment.

Amendment 28 withdrawn.

Amendments 29 to 31 not moved.

Clause 2 agreed.

Clause 3: Enforcement

Amendments 32 to 40 not moved.

Clause 3 agreed.

Clause 4: Appeals

Amendment 41 not moved.

Clause 4 agreed.

Clause 5: Exclusion from private hire vehicles legislation

Amendment 42 not moved.

Amendment 43

Moved by

43: Clause 5, page 4, line 19, at end insert “(and for this purpose “trailer” has the same meaning as in the Pedicabs (London) Act 2024 (see section 7 of that Act))”

Member's explanatory statement

This is consequential on my amendment to clause 7.

Amendment 43 agreed.

Clause 5, as amended, agreed.

Clause 6: Procedure for pedicab regulations

Tabled by

44: Clause 6, page 4, line 20, at end insert—

“(A1) Transport for London must obtain the approval of the Secretary of State before making pedicab regulations.”Member's explanatory statement

This amendment requires Transport for London to obtain the approval of the Secretary of State before making pedicab regulations.

At page 143, paragraph 8.111 of the Companion says:

“The proceedings and forms of words for amendments and clauses in Grand Committee are identical to those in a Committee of the whole House save that no votes may take place. Normally only one bill per day may be considered in Grand Committee. Amendments, which may be tabled and spoken to by any member, are published and circulated as for Committee of the whole House”.

Paragraph 8.112 says:

“As divisions are not permitted in Grand Committee, decisions to alter the bill may only be made by unanimity. Thus when the Question is put, a single voice against an amendment causes the amendment to be negatived”.

I am that single voice.

Sitting suspended.

Amendment 44 not moved.

Amendments 45 and 46 not moved.

Clause 6 agreed.

Amendments 47 and 48 not moved.

Clause 7: Interpretation

Amendment 49 not moved.

Amendment 50

Moved by

50: Clause 7, page 5, line 2, at end insert—

““trailer” , in relation to a pedal cycle, includes a sidecar or a vehicle pushed by a pedal cycle.”Member's explanatory statement

“Pedicab” is defined by clause 1 to mean a pedal cycle, or a pedal cycle in combination with a trailer, that is constructed or adapted for carrying one or more passengers etc. This amendment provides that “trailer” includes sidecars or vehicles pushed by pedal cycles.

Amendment 50 agreed.

Amendment 51 not moved.

Clause 7, as amended, agreed.

Clause 8: Commencement

Amendment 52 not moved.

Clause 8 agreed.

Clauses 9 and 10 agreed.

Committee adjourned at 7.13 pm.