The Supreme Administrative Court (SAC) rejected the cassation complaint of bicycle operators against the judgment of the Municipal Court in Prague. The decision cannot be appealed.
The pedal-powered vehicles resemble small trailers more than bicycles and are configured to work as bars on wheels. Passengers sit around a table on stools fitted with pedals and trundle around the city while they are served beer and other drinks.
Beer bikes have long angered Prague residents, who complain they block roads and cycling paths and encourage drunk and rowdy tourists.
“Beer bikes are degrading for the city and especially for the people who live here. Every business in a public space must operate under clearly defined conditions and with the consent of local and city districts. There is an important lesson to be learned after this decision: perseverance pays off and gives additional strength to the fight for the quality of life of the locals. Prague is supposed to be the home of Praguers, not alco-tourism,” said the mayor’s deputy Adam Scheinherr (Praha sobě).
The difficulty to regulate beer bikes stemmed from the fact that they don’t fall, as non-motorized vehicles of their own kind, under a specific category of the law.
It took a long time to get the beer bikes out of the city center. First, their operation was limited in Letenské sady in 2018, and in August of the following year, they were to be banned throughout the center.
However, an objection was filed by the company that supplied beer to beer bikes, which pushed the regulation back to March 1st, 2020.
This would not be the first time Prague, which has been facing a significant tourism boom over the last decade, takes action against such phenomenon.
In 2016, a Segway ban was introduced in the historical center, with other districts soon following suit.
The ban nonetheless came at a heavy cost, with authorities forced to put up hundreds of new prohibition signs in Prague streets.