In the UK, Uber have been sneaking its way across the country in areas where they have no operating licence, after a loophole was found, leaving the local authorities without the tools to regulate them.
The national officer of for the hackney and private-hire taxi trade has said Uber are “acting with impunity” and “spreading its tentacles” throughout the smaller towns and cities in order to exploit regulations.
Uber have 40,000 drivers operating in the UK and the statistics prove that the number will grow, and grow rapidly. But with the changes in the law regarding taxi licensing brought in by the Deregulation Act 2015 – it seems Uber has found another way to slither through the cracks in the law.
Two cab drivers who’d had their taxi licences removed have been found using the Uber App to pick up fares in Southend and surrounding areas. Nasser Hussain, 60, and Nisar Abbas, 37 – to avoid being banned from driving were found sharing penalty points with other drivers. They were then given new licences to work legally in Southend using the Uber App by the Transport for London, even though Southend hasn’t authorised Uber an operator’s licence. Leaving the local authority “Impotent to protect the public” said Tony Cox – Southend council’s cabinet member for transport.
Uber drivers now have the ability to ignore the rules that cab drivers with licences have to undertake in order to work. For instance minimum vehicle age and various other important factors that Uber do not have to abide to.
There are some very upset counselors around the country that feel if Uber cannot meet licensing conditions then they should not be able to operate in the area and yet they do.
This was said by Paul Gittings of Reading County Council – “I think it does create an uneven playing field, because other private-hire operators and hackney carriages are paying us a licensing fee,” he said. “But Uber drivers can still come along and pick up trade here.”
Uber should have respect for the other services on the road paying more and sticking to regulations that cost time and money to meet the criteria and retain licences. It surely cannot carry on like this.
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