Bicycle rickshaws or pedicabs have become a popular and fun way of traveling around the West End, Soho and central areas of London. They are a fun way of traveling to a hotel or restaurant after an evening at a West End theater. London rickshaws are not licensed or regulated so just how safe are they? I'm going to give you seven top tips to make sure your rickshaw journey is a safe and a happy one.
- * Three medium sized adults are a snug fit in a rickshaw, two are ideal. If there are four in your party use a second rickshaw. In tests rickshaws proved to be least stable turning corners when they had only one passenger or were overloaded. * Use a rickshaw for fairly short distances not instead of the tube. Think of them as a fun alternative to walking rather than as public transport. Rickshaws are safest within the West End, Soho and Central London areas where traffic speeds rarely exceed 20 miles an hour. * Check that your rickshaw is owned by one of the major companies. Their logos are clearly visible on the cabs and often the drivers wear distinct t-shirts. Names to look for include BugBugs, In Wheels We Trust and The London Rickshaw Company. All of these carry insurance and provide training for their drivers as part of their Voluntary Code of Practice. * Look to see that your driver is wearing a visible name badge. These are also covered by the Code of Practice. It is important to know who your driver is just in case. Make sure your driver knows and understands exactly where you want to go before you set off. You can not expect the same level of knowledge from them as you would from a London cabbie. You may need to practice your language skills as many of the drivers are foreign language students. * Work out the fare before you get into the cab. Agree a fair price before you get in the cab and then stick to it. You should also allow for a tip, see below. The big rickshaw companies charge a basic flat rate fare per passenger (between £ 3.50 and £ 4) and then the driver negotiates his fee on top of that. * Use the seat belt. It is usually a lap belt and it could save your life. * Give your driver a tip. If you are pleased with your ride a 10 – 15% tip on top of your agreed fare is usual.