Uber have filed official court papers against Transport For London’s private hire regulations this week.
The new regulations were introduced earlier this year after a wide-ranging consultation with taxi and minicab firms. It was the first major change to private hire rules since they were introduced, and were aimed at ending the long-standing feud between the ridesharing firm and London’s black cab drivers. They included hire and reward insurance requirements and minimum language standards.
Uber was initially supportive of the regulation, but in the months since it was introduced now feel that rules have become too ‘onerous’. A letter was sent to TfL stating their concerns, and now the company has now filed for a judicial review.
Tom Elvidge, general manager at Uber London, said: “This legal action is very much a last resort. We’re particularly disappointed that, after a lengthy consultation process with Transport for London, the goalposts have moved at the last minute and new rules are now being introduced that will be bad for both drivers and tech companies like Uber”.
Interesting, London cabbies are also backing Uber’s calls for a fresh review of regulations – because they don’t feel that they go far enough. However, minicab firms such as Addison Lee feel that the regulations do not need reviewing.
A spokesperson for London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “Sadiq has asked his team to produce a comprehensive new strategy that will herald in a new era for the capital’s taxi and private hire trades. Further details will be released later this year of a plan that will deliver radical improvements for customers, a boost to safety, support for the taxi trade and further improve the quality of service offered by the private hire trade. There will also be a concerted effort to make London’s taxi fleet the greenest in the world”.
What do you think – are you more likely to use Uber, a minicab firm, or a black cab? Let us know in the comments below!
Author Lex Barber