Uber protests France: Taxi drivers block roads and burn tyres in Paris
French taxi drivers have blocked roads to airports and stations in Paris with cars and burning tyres as part of huge protests against Uber.
Read more: Boris Johnson says Uber drivers must pass black cab style Knowledge test
The protest force is made up of thousands of drivers, as conflict between taxi drivers and the taxi app reaches boiling point. Taxi drivers are aggrieved at Uber’s growing influence on the market at a time when revenue for taxi drivers is falling by as much as 40 per cent
Uber’s travails across the globe have often been caused by its fight to be seen as a technology company rather than a transportation service, thereby avoiding costly red tape. Our incoming editor, Christian May, gave short thrift to claims Uber is wielding an unfair advantage:
Paris taxi drivers strike/riot, accuse Uber of having "unfair competitive advantage." The competitive advantage being that they're better.
— Christian May (@ChristianJMay) June 25, 2015
There have been reports of Uber drivers lured to secluded destinations and assaulted by fake punters, and of passengers dragging their luggage to Charles de Gaulle airport as road access is cut off.
The object of most friction is UberPop, a service that uses unlicensed drivers at low costs. As the license fee in France can be as much as €240,000 (£171,000), drivers argue it allows Uber to undercut the market.
UberPop’s days may be numbered in any case. A new law came in at the beginning of the year banning drivers from operating without a license. While it has continued to operate, it is likely only until a ruling is handed down from a constitutional court
This is not the first time Uber has faced issues in Paris. Earlier this year, the group's French offices were raided by police as part of an investigation into Uber Pop.
Many will be terrified by news Courtney Love Cobain was caught up in the strike.
Dude @kanyewest we may turn back to the airport and hide out with u.picketers just attacked our car #ParisUberStrike pic.twitter.com/MtanurybOO
— Courtney Love Cobain (@Courtney) June 25, 2015