London SE1 website team

Councillor calls for crackdown on 'pubs on wheels'

Pedal-powered 'pubs' have become a familiar sight on the streets of SE1 in recent years, but now one councillor has called for them to be banned in residential areas.

Riverside ward councillor and Southwark Lib Dem leader Cllr Anood Al-Samerai is pressing for the council to introduce a bylaw to regulate the routes and times that the tours, such as those run by Pedibus, can operate.

"I first had complaints from residents several months ago when they sold alcohol on these contraptions," wrote Cllr Al-Samerai on her blog.

"I asked the council to look at the licensing policy as anyone selling alcohol should have a licence. The council looked into it and suddenly the company stopped selling alcohol now people bring their own.

"So with licensing unable to help I looked into whether anything could be done about these vehicles being driven by people under the influence of alcohol. However, the person doing the steering is apparently sober so that doesn't apply to them.

"The council say noise rules don't work because the noise is intermittent even though they can set off as much as once every half hour with blaring music and shouting. And they don't have to register the vehicles because they're not recognised vehicles!

"So having had no joy from the council or the police, locals and I have decided that they simply have to be banned on narrow residential streets like those in Shad Thames.

"I have no objection to people drinking (I have been known to do it myself!), but I do object to residents having no say in putting up with constant noise and anti-social behaviour while this company cashes in the profits.

"To do this we have to create a new bylaw which will take time but I am determined to give residents some control over where and when these things can cause their chaos."

This summer London Assembly member Caroline Pidgeon asked the Mayor of London Boris Johnson what steps he would take to reduce the nuisance to residents caused by Pedibus-style tours.

"I am aware that Southwark Council has received a number of complaints about nuisance and disturbance from the Pedibus tours operating in the London Bridge area," replied the Mayor.

"This is being dealt with by licensing officers, who are in discussion with the operators and the police to resolve the issues."

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