The relationship between London’s taxi drivers and the transport-booking app Uber is frosty to say the least, with both parties progressing opposite views in regards to how people organise their transport.
With the traditional hailing of a taxi a thing of the past it seems that the drivers of London are taking matters into their own hands, standing up to both the app creators as well as transport officials.
While the traditional black cab driver feels like his toes are being well and truly trodden on Uber simply displays the stance that they are catering to the country’s demand for online booking systems, seeing their invention as a progression within the sector.
Today marks a prolific day in the war over taxi booking with a protest taking place at Trafalgar Square at 2pm.
Where many industries have simply backed down when faced with new technologically minded competitors this is not the case with the drivers of the UK.
Cab services will today illustrate their anger and frustration over the power given to the Uber app, feeling there to be a lack of regulatory measures taken..
Garrett Emmerson, Transport for London’s chief operating officer for surface transport, said: “A number of taxi drivers are set to cause pointless disruption for Londoners over a legal issue that is down to the courts to decide upon.
“TfL will work with the Metropolitan Police to do all we can to keep central London moving. However, given the scale of the likely disruption, we would advise drivers to avoid the area if at all possible.”
Although a great deal of hostility between these organisations the whole episode really boils down to one issue.
Taxi drivers feel that Uber is breaking the law by using an app as a taxi meter to generate the price for journeys, obtaining a High Court ruling on the issue.
“We have nothing against competition but we feel that Transport for London has failed Londoners by allowing Uber to operate outside the law,” said Steve McNamara, of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association.
It has been reported that over 12,000 drivers are to be involved with today’s protest, an army of aggravated professionals that are witnessing a huge decrease in revenue as a direct result of Uber.
Ch Supt Pippa Mills, of the Metropolitan Police, said organisers had failed to discuss the protest in advance, so the following conditions have been imposed on the demonstration:
- The protesters may assemble in Whitehall SW1, north and southbound carriageways and Parliament Street SW1, north and southbound carriageways
- The demonstration must not start before 14:00
- The demonstration must not end later than 15:00
- No-one will be allowed to join the demonstration when the area is deemed to be congested by the tactical commander of the event
If you have an opinion on this protest or are in fact part of the demonstration please share your thoughts with us by commenting below.