Uber Takes On London Mayor & London’s Transport Regulator
Uber Challenges TfL On All Drivers Taking English Tests
Uber have been granted permission to challenge against Transport for Londons’ introduction to the ruling of all private hire drivers undergoing reading, writing and listening tests to prove they can understand English.
The ruling accepted by the High Court was expected to commence from October 1st entailed private hire drivers from non-English speaking countries would need to meet B1 level in speaking, listening, reading and writing under common European Framework Standards. The TfL stated the new ruling would enhance the public’s safety.
Uber revealed that in the last month, only 0.5% of their customer feedback was regarding drivers having poor English. The company, based in Ireland, originally supported the tests but now argue that the requirements for the drivers to provide a certificate to prove they have intermediate understanding of English will be costly and unnecessary.
TfL also want to introduce a call centre service for passengers that they are able to contact during the journey and for Uber to update TfL if they change their app. Uber state that the call centre isn’t required for the black cab service and are expected to challenge whether it needs to be based in London, and informing of changes to their app will only slow down the company’s development. Uber has around 30,000 drivers in London alone and it is estimated that thousands would be affected by the new rules.
“We are pleased the judge has decided this case deserves a hearing. TfLs plans threaten the livelihoods of thousands of drivers in London whilst stiflingg technological companies such as Uber.”
Tom Elvidge, General Manager of Uber London, BBC.co.uk
The court hearing is estimated for December.
Uber Slams London’s Black Cab Investment
The technological giant has now hit out at London’s Mayor and accused him of showing favouritism towards London’s black cabs.
Sadiq Khan announced new policies that are being introduced in 2017 to help the black cab trade. This includes a grant of £5,000 being available to drivers who wish to replace their vehicle with a zero emissions car, an increase in the amount of taxi ranks and creating more bus lanes.
Uber have accused the Mayor of discrimination towards other drivers and claimed that the new policies could cost thousands of Uber drivers their livelihoods. Uber sent an email to all its customers asking them to directly email the Mayor to object the new policies:
“While black cabs will get £65m from the taxpayer, the Mayor is piling extra costs and red tape onto licensed private hire drivers. This plan will cost drivers who use Uber hundreds of pounds and thousands may lose their livelihoods as a result. Fewer drivers will mean longer waiting times for passengers. Many drivers who use Uber are immigrants. They work hard to look after themselves and their families. Driving has given them an opportunity to integrate into their local community. The Mayor should be supporting these drivers, not penalising them,”
Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, Independent.co.uk
The London Mayor said speaking to The Independent that he wanted to create a hire market where all providers are able to “flourish” and protect the future of The City’s iconic black cabs and it looks like Uber will do anything to make this impossible.
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