“We support Uber” H&F Conservative councillors tell Boris

Uber_logo_thumb800Dear Boris

In Hammersmith & Fulham we are enormously proud of your achievements as Mayor of London.  You have made significant changes to benefit our residents in reducing crime, reducing your share of council tax, modernising the District Line, scrapping the western extension of the Congestion Charge, bringing ‘Boris Bikes’ west and planting new street trees.  We could go on!

However, similar to the seven Conservative Councillors from Westminster who wrote to you earlier in the week, we are very concerned at Transport for London’s proposals around new regulation that will particularly affect Uber.  A significant number of our residents use Uber as a convenient, competitively priced and forward looking service that is setting the pace in the taxi market.  To bring in rules that prevent residents from seeing where nearby taxis are located and have to wait longer than sometimes is necessary to get their cab (especially late at night) would achieve nothing other than inconvenience for thousands of Londoners and visitors who value such a service.

We believe it is possible for the black cab trade and firms like Uber to co-exist in a competitive market place and respectfully suggest the answer may lie more with deregulation of black cabs than new regulation on others.

Please review these proposals and let competition and the free market settle this matter, not state interference.

Yours sincerely,

Cllr Greg Smith

Cllr Mike Adam

Cllr Nick Botterill

Cllr Andrew Brown

Cllr Joe Carlebach

Cllr Charlie Dewhirst

Cllr Belinda Donovan

Cllr Caroline ffiske

Cllr Marcus Ginn

Cllr Steve Hamilton

Cllr Lucy Ivimy

Cllr Alex Karmel

Cllr Robert Largan

Cllr Jane Law

Cllr Viya Nsumbu

Cllr Harry Phibbs

All Councillors in the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham Town Hall, King Street, London W6 9JU

18 thoughts on ““We support Uber” H&F Conservative councillors tell Boris

  1. It’s not a free market when greedy corporates are buying it which is what Goldman Sachs are doing. The only reason uber fares are cheap at the moment is because they are being subsidised by Uber. They are making a huge loss and ultimately will have to make s profit to pay back the $9.5billion that they owe + make a profit for greedy uber, + pay a huge dividend to greedy investors such as Goldman Sachs. What do u think will happen to prices then? They will go up by a huge amount because their drivers cannot take any more pay cuts as they r already working60-70 hours per week for below minimum wage! Yes, you councillors are encouraging slavery !!!!!!! Then there are the facts that black cabs have to have disabled access and therefore cost twice as much as a cramped Prius , and your fares aren’t actually gave much cheaper because most uber drivers are recent immigrants and claim some sort of benefit whether it be in work benefits or housing or their kids schools free meals. And did I mention that uber pay hardly any tax in UK oh yes it costs you more than u think and uber even encourage their drivers to pay tax outside UK – see their website. On top of all this you councillors are exnouraging road accidents and deaths because uber drivers are driving around looking at their sat navs – there’s been a huge increase in road accident with PHV due to uber see #ubered http://www.whosdrivingyou.org we need these rules to safe guard the public – 5 mins is nothing for uber driver to check route in his sat nav and all these proposals already exist for existing mini an cab companies and we haven’t had issues. Then again this whole episode is an excerpt use to deregulate the taxi industry and take all this business from Londoners and give it to the NYSE for American companies. Theft big heist in history and ultimate key it will only benefit Goldman Sachs Nd you know it.

  2. Unbelievable that supposedly well educated people like yourselves would see the possible solution to this issue as LESS regulation of the taxi trade?! The london taxi trade is world renowned for a reason, and an unregulated race to the bottom is not the answer, it will lead to a slave driving, non UK tax paying multi billion dollar US “tech” firm surge pricing as they wish to make sure their shareholders are happy, not their customers!

    TFL’s proposed regulations are not specific to Uber, and they are nothing new, they are merely a modern day reiteration of existing laws that are to protect the public you should serve.

    Ask yourselves this, why do every other minicab firm (including the biggest, Addison Lee) SUPPORT these proposals & Uber are the only ones complaining? Answer, because Uber are the only ones that work outside them, ILLEGALLY!

    People see a cheap ride home as brilliant, they don’t see that their driver is earning an average of £4 per hour, working 18-20 hours shifts, possibly claiming working tax credits and sleeping in his car before returning to wherever in the country he has come from to work!

    Be very careful what you wish for! (And maybe do a bit more research!)

    A reply would be welcomed so I can again put you straight on your misguided support for Uber!

  3. Why is a London council supporting an American company domiciled in Holland so that they don’t have to pay any tax in the UK? Financed by over American Companies who also pay very little tax in the UK.
    What thought of the many Black cab drivers who live in your borough or the small Mini cab businesses who all pay council tax that are closing in droves because they can’t compete against Uber because Uber are subsidising their prices until they have control of the market?

    Also your opinion that the Black Cab trade should be deregulated so that it will be easier for Uber to compete is beyond belief. The Black Cab is iconic around the world and the service is second to none but you believe that this professionalism should be watered down so that an American none tax paying company should get an easier ride in dominating the Mini cab market. Unbelievable!!!

    Your criticism of the what you call NEW regulations, which most have already been in place since 1998 but Uber have decided to ignore these regulations because it doesn’t fit into their aggressive business model. Surely you are not as a London council condoning law breaking?

    I feel that your letter to the Mayor is maybe out of ignorance of all the facts and hope that as councillors of a borough that I am proud to say I was born in and lived in until I was 36 you will now gather more information about Uber before giving this company more support.
    Your sincerely
    Neil Flynn.

  4. @Ross aller: You ask the right question, “why does every [incumbent] SUPPORT these proposals & Uber are the only ones complaining?”

    I’d have thought the answer was obvious. These proposals benefit the incumbents and damage Uber.

    BTW: If you have any evidence that Uber (or anyone else) is operating illegally, then please can you give your evidence directly to the police. Also please can you reply with some links to factual sources, so that people can “do a bit more research” as you suggest.

    • How can these proposals damage uber? They’re a tech company not a transport company! Tell them to stick to IT. Besides – they are not abiding by the basic regulations and laws to protest you the public like the taxi and PHV all are. Why is it only uber that doesn’t want to abide by the law? Why don’t they pay tax in uk? Why can’t you call them on a landline? Why do they encourage their drivers not to pay tax in uk as well? If it’s all about prices well who’s going to pay the high fares when uber have to make a profit – they are loosing I’ve amounts trying to monopolise the very market that they state is a monopoly yet anyone can become do the knowledge and become a cabby. And who’s going to pay the addition high fares when uber have to pay back their debts $9.6billion, plus huge did fiends to seriously greedy investors such as Goldman Sachs and Google, plus ubers own greedy executives. Either their drivers work like slaves which most are doing now or you pay via high fares and I believe that higher fate and more space labour will happen. This is just a huge heist by the 1% controlling the worlds money to squeeze normal
      People even more whilst they tan their brown noses up each other’s arse!

    • There are court cases going on at the moment not just in uk but worldwide against Uber and in London against TFL for Ubers illegal dealings. Uber directors in France are going to be prosecuted and a few days ago Dutch police raided Ubers offices in Amsterdam and I believe that they have arrested Uber execs. There is much more evidence out there and I suggest you google it (they own Uber as well so are probably deleting anti Uber posts). This is a seriously evil company that breaks every law in t countries that it starts in and are now being prosecuted. many countries ave been caught off guard because of the way that uber do business. You need to inform yourself.

  5. How can you support slave labour ??? How can you compromise the safety of the public? How about the disabled, gay & those needing to travel with service dogs ~ all refused by Uber. Hacking, property held to ransom, harassment, no vetting no insurance etc. And tax avoidance ! New Tec does not automatically mean better. Black cabs may not be faultless but they are a damn site safer

  6. I AM NOT A CAB DRIVER, but even I understand what the issues are.
    The reason that there is such a high availability of cars is that they are ALL working for under minimum wage, and this is why Uber do not employ the drivers.
    Taxis do have apps, and they can be located easily. They CANNOT be competitive on price as they HAVE to run by the meter, so if you ask TFL to look at this, then you will be able to get back to your residents being able to use the best taxi service in the world.
    Is Uber a UK company?? Do they pay taxes here? Are a lot of their drivers still claiming benefits as they cant make ends meet?
    Are there now over 60,000 private hire vehicles licenced in London?
    Most of them will be driving for 12 hours a day. Interesting as this is what is causing a lot of traffic in London.

    The only reason why MP’s support Uber is because of the money that is coming through various channels. Most of MP’s are well educated, however they are not using their education to think about this issue properly.

    thank you.

  7. Shame on all of you, such a bias, uneducated letter is beyond belief. You are elected councilors and as such should support local people and business not large foreign companies that don’t even pay tax in your own country!!!!!

  8. So the wealth of Hammersmith and Fulham are happy that many drivers on this platform work excessive hours to earn below the minimum wage and no where near the London living wage.
    Will their views still be the same if a driver has a accident. And seriously injures a customer because the driver falls asleep at the wheel having already worked silly hours to feed his/her family.
    Keep it up residents safe in the knowledge that after a expensive meal in a restaurant with your family you are happy to,pay less then a price of a bus journey to your overpriced home with a door to door service in a safe clean vehicle driven by a driver who struggles to even put a simple meal on the table for his family.
    After all you are part of the so called sharing community but won’t share your wealth with the underpaid by using this service.
    I suggest you think again before using or let Uber know you won’t use until the drivers fares reach a London Living wage and the driver again has a live work balence.
    If this happens you are then part of the sharing community and can sleep well knowing that your driver can also sleep well having completed a honest day’s work for a honest living,just as you do.

  9. Well, this won’t be the first time that those of a Tory pro market persuasion have elevated profit over standards and safety…they’d sell their granny if they thought there was a quid in it for them without a second thought for the consequences! App technology already exists, and did so even before the emergence of Uber. They haven’t really brought anything new to the table except very low fares at the expense of their drivers, added congestion, additional accidents on our roads as well as a way of making a profit without contributing anything directly to the country where the profit was made, the Netherlands aside! This they have done in order to decimate all competition and create the very monopoly that they accuse the black cab trade of having, which incidentally is a blatant untruth, for the knowledge is available for anyone willing to risk their relationship, bank balance & general health, to complete it!! We lose sight of the fact that the regulations exist first & foremost to protect the paying public, & is not about protectionism of the trade. A race to the bottom which creates a free for all where public safety could be compromised is not the answer!! The reason Uber are fighting this is because they want only to maximise profits & dividends for their investors with an absolute minimum of responsibility to the public they claim to champion or indeed their “partners”. I will finish by saying that if they wish to operate in the same way as a black cab (which is what they do), they need to be more strictly regulated as safety is paramount and contrary to their PR machine would have us believe, it is unlikely to end in their demise, but to fail to act will almost certainly lead to this fate for the black cab trade & once that happens, just how cheap do you think Uber will remain?

  10. As the figures of sexual assaults within Londons minicab industry has increased since 2012, I’m of the opinion that deregulation will attract sexual predators. Are you aware of the dangers you are inflicting on the public that you are meant to protect? This is very worrying indeed.

  11. So you want a company that doesn’t CRB check properly especially ones who are asylum seekers, have not got the right insurance (h&r) http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jun/12/uber-whistleblower-exposes-breach-driver-approval-process also I see on Twitter from your constituents of complaints about uber drivers uranating into bottles & leaving them on the road side! & also a company that doesn’t pay corporation tax in this country & also discriminate against disabled people! But you want to save £4-5 on a taxi fare & loose the iconic black cab!! All I can say is be careful what you wish for as the fares won’t stay cheap!! Look into some of the states in America & you will see complaints of uber continually on surge price!!!!

  12. You need to ask why it is only uber opposing this regulation. Thousands of other PH companies and drivers support this. This tax avoiding American corporation only cares about the profit margin whilst it’s drivers earn below minimum wage. De-regulation will only further lower standards (there are currently an avg of 25 sexual assaults a week in licensed and unlicensed mini cabs in London) and encourage a race to the bottom.

    I know consumers want cheap rides but people such as yourselves, who can influence decisions, need to further consider the result of lower regulation in this market. Please further investigate the worldwide behaviour of uber and reconsider your position.

    I always find it hard to understand why organisations such as yourselves, which are funded by tax payers, actively encourage these businesses to continue to avoid paying UK tax by giving them support on forums such as this. Next year you same councillors will be complaining how you have less budget as the exchequer has less income!!!

  13. Any Uber driver who isn’t making enough money is free to stop and do something else instead. What is the problem?

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