The cost of ban­ning Uber in the cap­i­tal

Harefield Gazette - - NEWS -

NEW fig­ures show re­fus­ing Uber’s li­cence could cost Lon­don­ers £90mil­lion in higher taxi fares.

A ban on the app-based taxi firm could leave Lon­don­ers with hugely higher fees, ac­cord­ing to data ob­tained by one Lon­don Assem­bly mem­ber.

Uber lodged an ap­peal against Trans­port for Lon­don’s (TfL) de­ci­sion not to ex­tend its Lon­don li­cence at West­min­ster Mag­is­trates’ Court on Fri­day Oc­to­ber 13.

Fig­ures ob­tained by Con­ser­va­tive LA mem­ber An­drew Boff, pub­lished on Tues­day, show that if a deal is not reached the fi­nan­cial con­se­quences for pas­sen­gers and driv­ers could be huge. His re­port says:

Ex­clud­ing surge charges, the cost of an av­er­age 6.4-mile jour­ney from Char­ing Cross to Ham­mer­smith is £15 in a stan­dard Uber, com­pared with £25 in a black cab.

With one mil­lion Uber jour­neys taken in Lon­don per week, and with black cabs mak­ing up 17% of all li­censed cars, Lon­don­ers would pay an ex­tra £89.5mil­lion if they used black cabs as al­ter­na­tives.

The ban would also im­pact on Uber’s 40,000 driv­ers, who earn on av­er­age £15 an hour and work an av­er­age of 30 hours per week.

Across the sec­tor, an up­hold­ing of the ban would cost the 40,000 driv­ers £864mil­lion in lost earn­ings if they are all put out of work.

Mr Boff said: “Th­ese num­bers may seem dra­matic but they un­der­line the huge eco­nomic dam­age this ban would do to mil­lions of Lon­don­ers and thou­sands of driv­ers in our city.”

Uber’s li­cence re­newal was re­fused by Trans­port for Lon­don (TfL) in Septem­ber on the grounds of “public safety and se­cu­rity im­pli­ca­tions”.

More than 850,000 peo­ple have signed an on­line pe­ti­tion launched by Uber, urg­ing TfL to re­v­erse its rul­ing.

Af­ter Uber lodged its court ap­peal on Fri­day, a TfL spokesper­son said: “We note that Uber has sub­mit­ted an ap­peal. No fur­ther com­ment will be made pend­ing the ap­peal hear­ing.”

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