A Londoner said he was cheated out of £500 by a pedicab driver who distracted him as he went to pay for a ten minute trip on the rider’s card machine.
The passenger, who wished to remain anonymous, said he was charged the extortionate amount after a short journey from Mayfair to Soho on July 29.
He told The Local Democracy Reporting Service: “I’d had a few drinks, and I should have realised but I blindly put my card in the machine.
“He was good at what he did.”
He added: “It’s £500. I’m not going to let that go. He should be fined £5,000 and have his pedicab taken off him,” he said.
“They obviously need to be regulated like taxis and they need to be licensed. At the end of the day, these guys could be anyone.”
It came after five pedicab operators were issued with record fines following an investigation by Westminster Council.
The five drivers were issued individual fines and costs ranging between £684-£2,019 and are the largest the council has issued since the investigation began.
Councillor Aicha Less, deputy leader, cabinet leader for communities and public protection said: “Pedicabs are an unlicensed nuisance and drivers regularly block pavements, play loud music, and charge extortionate fares.
“We want people visiting the West End to have fun and to be safe, and the council will continue to work with the police to take action against antisocial pedicab drivers.