UK News

London taxi drivers march against Uber

Black cab drivers staged a demonstration on Thursday to demand greater regulation for Uber, the popular car hire app.

They claimed that the Government was allowing the car hire app to drive the licensed taxi trade out of business. Some wanted legislation to make Uber subject to the same standards as taxis, while others demanded a public inquiry into the Government’s alleged support for Uber.

Taxi drivers protest outside Conservative Party headquarters on Matthew Parker Street, Westminster. Photo: Chris McKeon

Protestors marched from Conservative Party Headquarters in Matthew Parker Street to the TFL offices in Victoria Street. Outside the TFL building, they chanted slogans calling for the resignation of Leon Daniels, TFL’s managing director responsible for road transport, including taxis.

Private hire vehicle numbers have soared since Uber arrived in London in 2013, but black cab numbers have stagnated. (Figures: Department for Transport)


Demonstrators also claimed that Uber’s lack of background checks left passengers vulnerable to sexual assault. Of the 154 allegations of sexual assault made against taxi and minicab drivers in 2015, 32 were made against Uber drivers, according to a Freedom of Information request made by the Sun last year.

 

The demonstration, organised by taxi drivers unions including the LTDA and the United Cabbies Group, marked a departure from taxi unions’ previous tactic of blocking streets with their vehicles. Protestors said they had made the change because they wanted to get their message across without inconveniencing Londoners.

Neither Transport for London nor the Department of Transport responded to requests for comment.

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