By Jacob Phillips, local democracy reporter
Some of London’s rickshaw drivers have hit back against residents who say they are too noisy.
Drivers of the three-wheeled taxis are often accused of playing loud music and charging high prices for trips around Central London.
Soho residents and Westminster City Council have both also complained about the impact of unregulated drivers with some Central London locals being kept up until 4am by the drivers.
But many of the rickshaw drivers have said this would be an unhelpful move.
Speaking to the Local Democracy Reporting Service outside Selfridges on Oxford Street, drivers revealed they could not care less about residents.
James, who did not want to give his surname, has been a pedicab driver in Central London for 18 years.
He said: “I don’t give a **** about noise [in Soho]. If someone says it’s noisy they should look at buses and limos.
“People always complain. If you go to Soho or Leicester Square it’s always busy.”
A second driver, who did not wish to be named explained regulating the pedicabs would put off a lot of drivers.
He explained that a lot of riders do the job for just a month at a time, often on holiday from abroad.
He said: “Some drivers are only working for two or three weeks a year. They come with a family and work a bit to have spending money.
“This job is about having fun. You make people happy playing some music.”
The driver however, believed all drivers should have to have a driver’s license to make the roads safer.
However, some drivers are in favour of regulations. Mathew Rhys works as a pedicab driver around Soho and Leicester Square.
After dropping a mother and young daughter in Piccadilly Square on their monthly trip around Central London he said: “It just makes their day. You see London in a totally different way.
“It’s like any industry. You can just rent a bike. It just takes a few bad eggs and then that’s all you hear about.”
A Westminster City Council spokesperson said: “The council has long fought for the regulation of pedicabs which create a nuisance and cause serious safety concerns.
“The council works with the police when criminality is involved, but there is limited legislation to control pedicabs.
“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.
“Residents deserve respite from noise and our visitors should be safeguarded from vulnerable vehicles, sharp practice and scams.”
Westminster and Two Cities MP Nickie Aiken has spoken to Parliament about the drivers of the speaker laden vehicles and has asked for new drivers to seek approval from the Mayor’s office to be on London’s roads.
This would allow a limit on numbers on the street, and require drivers to pay road tax and face background checks, in the same way as taxi drivers.