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Spot the difference...


I managed, and I suspect my readers succeeded too. However, it has proved a trial for Transport for London, which in the face of the evidence, considers both to be Hackney carriages. Yes it does, and it has resorted to litigation against a company called Bugbugs - which operates pedicabs - in pursuit of the point.

"Bugbugs had sought to strike out, on the grounds of abuse of process, a claim made under CPR Part 8 by the respondent, Transport for London ("TfL"), for a declaration that a pedicab is a "hackney carriage" for the purposes of section 4 of the Metropolitan Public Carriage Act 1869 ("the 1869 Act"). The Master dismissed Bugbugs' application to strike out TfL's claim. He gave permission to appeal".


And the appeal failed. I am not going to go off on a 'the law is an ass' rant since that would be a - dull and b- not entirely justified as this and previous litigation revolve around whether a pedicab is a hackney carriage or a stage carriage. What is more noteworthy is that TfL is behaving like a classic monopolist and attempting to destroy a competitor by loading it with an unsupportable regulatory burden. Apparently the old bale of hay law has been repealed, but the added weight of insurance and so like will inevitably wreck the ability of pedicab riders (that would appear to be the technical term) to make a living. And meanwhile, how many accidents have been caused by the riders, public nuisances etc etc? Few I imagine.

The company itself appears to be achingly right on - "It is a not-for-profit organisation, limited by guarantee and run by a board of trustees. It was founded in 1998 and its aims include the provision of a sustainable emission-free integrated form of passenger transport and the creation of work and training opportunities for people from all backgrounds and nationalities". Doubtless regular users are Guardianistas to a wo/man, and occasional users tourists. I went for a ride in one in Edinburgh in the summer and it was rather fun.

So well done TfL. What a great day's work - an almighty spoke has been rammed into the wheel of both a harmless diversion for denizens of the metropolis and the ability of folk to make a living.

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Blogger Ed said... 5:21 pm

I hate those bloody things, but I can't think of a good reason why people shouldn't be free to choose which expensive point-to-point transport they use.  



Anonymous Aaron Aardvark said... 12:43 am

You are wrong on this one Mr Croydonian. Taxi drivers detest the pedicabs not because of fear of competition, but because of the way they obstruct the highways and pavements of Soho etc, and their smug defiance of every traffic law known to man.
Emphasising the safety aspects is the best way to drive them back to the sewers that they sprung from. They have been involved in numerous crashes already. The miracle is that we still await the first fatality.  



Blogger Jeremy Jacobs said... 12:59 am

Have to agree with Aaron Aardvark on this one Croydonian. These "pedicabs" are a blasted nuisance. They're dangerous, few have proper lights (like many cyclists)and as Aaron says. Get in the way.  



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