London cabbies welcome a review of new Uber rules

Lynsey Barber
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London Faces Gridlock As Black Taxi's Protest Against Uber App
The feud over taxis and minicabs in London has been renewed (Source: Getty)

London's black cab drivers expect the Mayor of London to look again at the way the industry is regulated in the capital after arch-rival Uber called on the Mayor of London to do just that.

Business groups and entrepreneurs yesterday backed a rethink, calling on Sadiq Khan to review the new rules governing Uber and other minicab firms in the capital, warning that they risked stifling innovation in the capital.

Now, cabbies have supported such a review which would give them another shot at a more favourable outcome for themselves.

Read more: Uber just renewed its feud with London's regulators

The new rules were settled upon by TfL after a long-standing feud earlier this year, with Uber claiming triumph in the battle while cabbies believe the new regulation does not go far enough.

"I've got no doubt he's going to look at this," said Steve McNamara, boss of the the London Taxi Drivers Association, the group representing thousands of black cab drivers and the organiser of several protests against Uber.

"We would expect him to to be reviewing all these things, like buses and cycle super highways."

McNamara said he had no sway over City Hall and had not been in contact with the mayor's office since the TfL consultation on the matter, but believed the new mayor would "do the right thing".

"He [Khan] wants to do the right thing by Londoners. The bigger minicab firms are part of the London landscape and are responsible operators. They are spending money to work towards these [rules] rather than challenge them. They [Uber] are not a London company."

"They don't pay tax in London, they are based in Holland and domiciled in Ireland," McNamara said, adding "they can't have it both ways".

Read more: Business and entrepreneurs pile pressure on Sadiq over Uber red tape

While Uber initially agreed with the new rules, it now believes the specific details of them go too far.

McNamara shot down arguments made by the business groups and entrepreneurs that the capital's multi-billion pound digital economy would suffer as a result of the red tape, which requires Uber to give TfL advance notice of changes to its business model or app, including the addition of some new features.

"Uber is a minicab firm it's not a technology firm," said McNamara. ​"They are no more a tech company than I am a baker and I can't turn an oven on."

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