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Taxi bikes banned

Published: 14 January 2005

Updated: 19 November 2014

Taxi bikes have been outlawed in London because new private hire licensing laws rule out any vehicle with less than four wheels.

Bike taxi firms – including Virgin Limobikes, Passenger Bikers, Addison Lee Taxi Bike and London Executive - are outraged at a move which will destroy their business in the capital. The ban comes despite the fact that not a single passenger has been killed or seriously injured carried on a taxi bike in London.

There are currently 17 motorcycles and 13 riders available keeping business moving in the traffic clogged capital.

The Motorcycle Industry’s Director of Public Affairs, Craig Carey-Clinch said; "Taxi bikes offer a much needed and reliable service to business executives in London, who would otherwise have to contend with the traffic congestion and delayed journey times that come with car-based private hire or black cabs. The ban seems particularly mean-minded, given that the safety argument that TfL makes clearly has no foundation.

"Managers in TfL's Public Carriage Office have assumed that motorcycles are dangerous without looking at the facts. The high standards of taxi bike riders and the level of training and experience that riders have, should be compared with the sometimes poor standard of drivers in the car-based private hire sector.

He said a private hire car driver may have held an EU driving licence for just three years – and never driven before in the UK – but still be allowed to drive a private cab in London.

"Quite clearly, the motorcycle ban is totally unfair and must be reviewed immediately.,” he added. The motorcycle taxi trade has never had anything else but good press and praise and enjoys a road safety record which puts the car sector to shame," added Carey-Clinch.

“TfL have the power to exempt motorcycles from the regulations and MCI is calling for them to accept that the ban is totally unfair and repeal it immediately."

All taxi bike riders have a minimum of five years riding experience ( in practice this is more likely, as at present, ten years). All riders have gained the Institute of Advanced Motoring (IAM) certificate as a minimum qualification and are rigorously checked with regard to riding ability and attitude prior to carrying passengers. All vehicles are fitted with custom made back rests to ensure comfort and safety of passengers

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