Black cab drivers in the city haven’t been too enamoured with the emergence of the California-based company on their patch, and have protested on a number of occasions against the company, who they claim benefit from lax regulations.
And new leaked documents from Transport for London (TfL) outline a series of measures which would radically alter how the taxi app company is able to operate in the capital.
TfL are said to be launching a consultation which would require a five minute minimum wait time between ordering a car and its arrival. Such a change would be an issue for Uber, who pick up people three minutes after a booking, on average.
We are launching a public consultation in order to inform and improve the regulations that govern the capital’s private hire trade. In recent years the private hire industry has grown exponentially and technology has also developed rapidly.
The consultation sets out a number of ways that standards across the industry could be raised, ensuring Londoners can continue to benefit from the service provided by licensed private hire vehicles. No final decisions have been made and we’re keen to hear a range of views from the trade and from Londoners, too.
The proposals also appear to suggest that apps showing cars for hire might be banned, passengers should have the option of booking a car seven days in advance, a stipulation that drivers only work for one operator at a time, and a requirement for an English language test and new training for drivers of private hire vehicles.
In an open letter, Uber said:
Technology that makes it safer and easier to travel around the city should be encouraged not restricted. Uber is attracting a lot of drivers, because it offers a service that no one else does.
The company have now launched an online petition to fight back against the proposals which they say “make no sense” and would affect drivers’ livelihoods. The petition has already gained more than 90,000 signatures.