Boris Johnson Says Uber ‘Breaking The Law’

Uber is under yet more pressure...

Boris Johnson Says Uber 'Breaking The Law'

by Stevie Martin |
Published on

Uber has come under even more pressure, as the head of Transport for London, Boris Johnson, has said the company is systematically breaking the law, in his new column for The Telegraph.

Apparently, the fact that the Uber’s app mimics hailing a taxi is technically illegal – as only black cabs have legal authority to be hailed. These comments have occurred just as Tranport for London is taking Uber to court, claiming the app effectively acts as a meter. It kicks off on Monday, but up until now Boris has defended Uber.

‘The reason TfL is consulting on new regulations for minicabs is very simple: we need to uphold the law,’ he wrote. ‘At present that law is being systematically broken – or at least circumvented – by the use of the Uber app.

‘You no longer need to see a vehicle to hail it. Your phone will see it for you. In other words, the app is allowing private hire vehicles to behave like black taxis: to be hailed, to ply for hire in the streets, to do exactly what the law says they are not supposed to do.’

He also, however, argued for a balance of the black cab trade and minicab apps.

‘I agree completely with the free marketeers: it is nuts to try to ban technology,’ he wrote. ‘But until parliament has the guts to change the law we must uphold the existing and longstanding legal distinctions between black cabs and minicabs.’

Uber itself has launched a petition, gaining 120,000 signatures already, and a spokesperson said: ‘In the UK, Uber is fully licensed and regulated and abides by all private hire legislation. Uber’s model has been scrutinised not only by TfL, but by over 25 other regulators and found to be compliant.

‘These bureaucratic new rules will not improve your ride. They’re designed to address the concerns of black cab drivers, who feel under pressure from increased competition.

‘But the answer is to reduce the onerous regulations cabbies face today – not increase them for everyone else.’

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Follow Stevie on Twitter: @5tevieM

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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