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22 - Jan - 2016

Uber cars on the rise in London!


Uber, the worldwide taxi company, currently has around 25,000 vehicles working in London; in comparison, there are approximately 21,000 black cabs licensed by the Public Carriage Office.  It’s not surprising that black cabbies are getting a little ‘hot under the collar’ in respect of Uber taxi drivers.  

Black cabbies have been putting pressure on authorities, citing ‘unfair competition’, to slow down the rise of Uber but recently, TfL, London’s transport authority, has rejected a series of proposals that were suggested in order to restricted not just Uber, but also alternative app-focused taxi services.  Measures included:

•    A 5-minute delay, or more, between a confirmation message being sent and the taxi collecting the passenger.
•    Allowing private hire companies to take pre-bookings from customers as much as 7 days in advance.
•    Drivers are limited to single-operator registration at any one time.

Uber are claiming victory, of course, but it may be a little too soon to celebrate.  New proposals put forward by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, may well yet cull the wings of Uber and app-based taxi services as he puts forward new proposals to not only cut the number of Uber cars on the streets of London, but also to improve air quality, which is not great in the capital.  The Mayor has asked TfL to investigate the possibility of lifting the congestion charge exemption for private taxi hire vehicles, meaning that they will have to pay £11.50 to pass through the central zone in London during the week.

Johnson was unable to convince the Government to cap the number of mini cabs in the capital – there has been a rise of approximately 50% in private hire vehicles and taxis.  Other measures he has suggested to TfL in order to create a level playing field and protect passengers include:

•    All drivers are to pass a basic English test, in concurrence with the current ‘Knowledge-lite’ geography test, before they are allowed to drive a taxi in London.
•    Fare estimates given to customers are guaranteed prior to the journey.
•    Drivers will be required to give personal details to customers, including a photograph, before the journey commences.
•    Taxi companies, like Uber, will be required to provide a telephone number for customers.
•    Higher licence fees implemented to reflect the costs of enforcing the licence, helping to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
•    Tighter measures on insurance for drivers.

London’s Taxi Driver Association (LDTA) is in agreement with the measures and wishes TfL would do more to deliver a fairer system for private hire vehicles and black cabs in the capital.  But I doubt this is the last we will hear of this ongoing battle.

Alternatively, Heathrow Gatwick Transfers are there to provide transport at the start and end of your holiday, making it the best experience you can find!  Spoil yourself and be chauffeured to your destination, with the assurance that we endeavour to deliver the best, innovative taxi transfer service you can find at extremely competitive rates in air-conditioned vehicles to sea ports, airports and other locations.  Plus, we don’t charge you taxes, we don’t charge for using your mobile phone, and we work to provide you the best service we can in all our airport and seaport transfer services, making sure that we are fully operational, fully staffed and deliver to the highest of standards at all times, 365 days of the year, at the best possible prices!  Travelling the world to or from any airport or seaport in the South East or staying closer to home, you can rest assured that our Meet and Greet service is handled with the utmost care and attention by our professional chauffeurs, and you don’t have to worry if your flight or cruise ship is running late, we’ll be there ready and waiting, at no extra cost!  The best all-inclusive prices, and well-maintained, luxury cars that are able to carry up to eight passengers including hand and check-in luggage, without any extras… that’s Heathrow Gatwick Transfer’s legacy to you. 

By Airport Pickups London