One of the most interesting observations I have made in London is the sight of rickshaws (normally a mode of transport associated with developing countries such as Thailand, India, Bangladesh, Vietnam etc.) being used as a tourist attraction/ 'mode of transport' in the City of London (perhaps not the place you would expect a rickshaw to be in if you are a tourist coming from a country where you use it for your everyday commute). Hundreds of rickshaw drivers offer short trips to tourists in the West End each night, providing an estimated 4,500 journeys.
The rickshaws in London are branded as being sustainable and eco-friendly (well, of course they are....they are powered by a human). There have been arguments that are both for and against the use of the rickshaw in London. While they provide an adequate source of income for the immigrants who operate them (usually from Romania, Bulgaria, and Moldova), they are also considered somewhat dangerous.
Last year Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London said even responsible operators “cannot ensure the safety of their passengers” and are adding to night-time traffic jams. He wants new laws that would give him the power to sweep the unlicensed and often uninsured pedicabs from central London. On that note, a transport expert (who wishes to remain anonymous), told me that the taxi and bus industry globally is one of the most corrupt cliques there is. I am not sure what to make of that comment - but this man surely does!
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