Pedicab driver charged £180 for three minute London trip

Westminster City Council ordered the driver to give the money back as part of their crackdown

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Two women have had £180 returned to them from a pedicab driver in London after they were overcharged for a three-minute trip.

Police were informed by the women that the pedicab operator they rode with told them that their fare would be £18. However he then charged them ten times that amount at the last minute.

Following a crackdown from Westminster City Council, local officers managed to locate the driver and forced him to return the money.

The council has asked that the government take measures to curb "nuisance" pedicab operators.

The crackdown on pedicabs took place from 9pm on Saturday to 4am on Sunday, covering major tourist hubs such as Leicester Square, Covent Garden, Soho and Oxford Street.

Police apprehended 70 pedicabs which were blocking pavements. Nine others were reported for playing music so loudly it was "likely to be an annoyance."

Possible prosecutions are being prepared, according to the council.

"Pedicab operators are an unlicensed nuisance that have plagued the West End for years, preying on tourists and annoying local residents", said Heather Acton, cabinet member for communities and regeneration.

"There is little regulation around them and they are uninsured - there are serious safety concerns around them.

"With the West End beginning to recover from 18 months of restrictions and disruption, it's time for the government to act and ensure that pedicab drivers undergo safety checks and pay road tax."