The Anonymous Widower

The Storm In The Teacup Over Uber

I’ve only ever used Uber once and the guy got lost three times between Walthamstow and Dalston. For the pick-up he had come all the way from Ealing, so how environmentally-friendly is that?

I generally only use black taxis from a rank, as otherwise I use the buses or trains, as I have a Freedom Pass.

What I object to about Uber is a variety of things.

  • How can I be sure that the driver is fully insured and pays their taxes?
  • All private hire cars and taxis should be recognisable. So Uber cars must have an Uber sign on the side!
  • I like to pay taxis in cash!
  • Uber’s database will get hacked soon and I don’t want to lose my details.

But the biggest thing about Uber and the other private hire vehicles is the congestion and pollution, the number of vehicles in London creates.

All new black taxis will have to be zero-emission after the first of January 2018 and vehicles over 15 years old will have to be retired.

Do the same rules apply to Uber and the other private hire vehicles? If not, it’s not a level playing field!

I said it was a storm in a teacup about Uber. TfL, Uber and the other private hire vehicle companies will agree a set of rules, which is fair to all.

And that must cover the important ones of driver suitability, congestion and pollution.

But within twenty years all taxis will be driverless electric vehicles. As one black-cab driver put it to me, if he could buy one of those, he wouldn’t need to suffer the stresses of driving in London and he could retire.





September 26, 2017 - Posted by | Transport | ,

1 Comment »

  1. Uber drivers must be licensed private hire drivers and use tested private hire cars – so that deals with some of the first issue. If they drive around a lot they will pass APNR regularly and soon be off the road if uninsured. As for pay their taxes – dunno, but as all their payments are recorded it would be difficult to pretend otherwise. Do black cab drivers declare all their fares and tips – do me a favour!

    Where I liver private hire cars including Uber are marked and have special hard to forge plates.

    Cash is a problem, but Uber’s difficulties with HMRC over NI may mean that payment will in future go direct from the fare to the driver in cash or via a credit card reader.

    Any database could get hacked – even your bank’s.

    Black cabs are IIRC exempt from congestion charge and can ply in the central area – where they tend to congregate. The effect is even more pronounced provincially, where you will often only find cabs at the main railway station. Uber cars OTOH have less incentive to move around.

    There are rules for private hire, including Uber. Uber may have made the odd mistake with some of their 40k drivers, but their license revocation appears politically motivated.

    Comment by Mark Clayton | September 26, 2017 | Reply

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