Window on my world — 26 February 2009

rickshaws

This blog tries very hard to avoid profanity and believe me sometimes it is tested to its very limits. But these f***ing rickshaws are now all over London. What started out as harmless fun pedalling the odd tourist around the pedestrianised confines of Covent Garden has turned into a nightmare. These rickshaws cause massive congestion as London’s traffic queues up behind them as they travel at little more than walking pace on major roads.

The Rickshaw riders charge exorbitant sums in order to recoup the high rental fees the operator’s charge for the bikes. Up to £12 a mile is normal, whilst £30 per mile is not unusual. If three people get into one of these contraptions they can expect to pay £12 to the driver and then have to negotiate the cost of the journey.

The safety of these vehicles is horrendous. The Transport Research Laboratory looked at the possible safety implications of allowing the continued use of these vehicles for hire and reward in London. Its scientists warned that ‘any impact with a motor vehicle’ was likely to result in ‘serious injury to both passengers and riders’. Transport Research Laboratory also warned that ‘The standard of braking for a Rickshaw fell well short of that expected of a car’.

I suspect members of Westminster Council and the Greater London Authority don’t go out at night and see this problem. If a major West End show should need to evacuate the theatre near to conclusion of a performance, 800 theatregoers would be confronted by a wall of these bloody contraptions. We have seen alas, what happens too many times before with people getting crushed and trampled on when an evacuation route is obstructed.

And if that is not bloody bad enough these crazy bastards ride down one-way streets in the opposite direction with young children in the back. It is only a matter of time before we have a tragic accident.

Whinge over, I feel a lot better now, can I get off the couch doctor?

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Gibson

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