Greg Hands MP, Minister for London and MP for Chelsea and Fulham, has responded to the Mayor of London ban on Uber.
“At the flick of a pen Sadiq Khan is threatening to put 40,000 people out of work and leave 3.5 million users of Uber stranded.
“Uber must address safety concerns and it is important there is a level playing field across the private hire market. But a blanket ban will cause massive inconvenience to millions of Londoners, all while showing that the Mayor of London is closed to business and innovation.
“Once again Labour are taking it too far and ordinary working people will pay the price for it.”
Natalie Roberts, at The Spectator, says the Uber ban is “anti-women, anti-youth and anti-London.”
The Guido Fawkes website notes that the GMB, a trade union which donates to the Labour Party, have been campaigning for the ban.
Sam Dumitriu of the Adam Smith Institute said:
“This decision is not about safety, it is about protecting the market share for black cab drivers even thought they don’t offer a better service or competitive prices.
“There are three main reasons why Londoners use Uber.
1. It is much quicker than waiting for a black cab and they will pick you up anywhere, not just on a main road.
2. They are also a lot cheaper than if you were to use a black cab.
3. People actually think that it is safer than a black cab because they know every journey is logged, they are being tracked by GPS and they’re immediately asked for feedback. In fact Uber drivers have to undergo the exact same safety checks to be able to work, the same as black cab drivers.
The reality is that if Uber can’t operate in London, people will have to wait longer for cabs, pay much higher prices and some might even put their safety in jeopardy by choosing to walk home after a night out.
The reality is that if Uber can’t operate in London, people will have to wait longer for cabs and pay much higher prices.
Just over a year ago, Sadiq Khan said that London was open for business but this decision today shows exactly the opposite. It looks like London is closed to entrepreneurs, innovation and competition.
He also keeps talking about London’s night time economy. But how are people There have been many campaigns to try and stop Uber from operating in London.
But its not just that, there are 40,000 drivers who chose to work for Uber due to its flexibility and people can fit their work around time with their families and other commitments.
Now they will be left worried about where they will get work from and how they will support themselves and their families. It is ridiculous.”
Mark Littlewood of the Institute of Economic Affairs says:
“Apps like Uber have a large role to play in our increasingly dynamic economy, and it is a mistake to cling onto out-dated views of working arrangements. Uber is not an ’employer’ – it is simply a platform that allows drivers and customers to meet and trade under a specific set of rules.
“Banning Uber, and clamping down on the Gig Economy more generally, is a restriction upon freedom of choice, both for Uber’s drivers and passengers. In doing so, Transport for London has privileged the views of a powerful minority who wish to restrict consumer choice over the will of millions of ordinary Londoners.”
“Today’s decision is an assault on drivers and customers alike, and a victory for protectionism.”
The ban will particularly punish ambitious, young, hard working immigrants in our City who are providing a great service to their fellow Londoners.
Andrew Boff, a Conservative member of the London Assembly says:
“The Mayor consistently tells us London is open but in shutting down the operations of an innovative market leader like Uber he has caused immense reputational damage to our city as a global business hub.
“With 3.5million registered users – almost half the city’s adult population – Uber has shown to be providing a hugely beneficial service to Londoners.
“Sadiq Khan has ignored their needs and instead believed the smears and propaganda propagated by Uber’s rivals.
“Yes there are elements of the industry that need tweaking, yes there needs to be a reduction of bureaucracy for black cab drivers, but snuffing out the competition at the expense of thousands of employees and millions of customers is not the solution.”
“All allegations around passenger safety, especially those alleging assault, have to be taken seriously and referred to the police but I would expect the same standard to apply to all operators.
“In addition, TfL must answer questions about why its background checks on licence applicants appear to be failing. Uber provides the platform but it is TfL that conducts checks on the drivers.”
An online petition started yesterday which (at the time of writing) already has half a million signatures.
“TfL and their chairman, the Mayor of London, today announced that they have decided not to renew Uber’s Operator Licence when it expires on 30th September.
“By wanting to ban our app from the capital, Transport for London and their chairman the Mayor have given in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice. If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive millions of Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport. This decision is affecting the real lives of a huge number of honest and hard-working drivers in London.
“The 3.5 million Londoners who rely on Uber to get a safe, reliable and affordable ride around the best city in the world will be astounded by the decision to ban Uber from the capital.
“This ban shows the world that London is far from being open and is closed to innovative companies, who bring choice to consumers and work opportunities to those who need them.
“Safety is of the highest importance and drivers who use Uber are licensed by Transport for London and have been through the same enhanced background checks as black cab drivers. Our pioneering technology has gone further to enhance safety with every trip tracked and recorded by GPS.
“To defend the livelihoods of 40,000 drivers – and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners – sign this petition asking to reverse the decision to ban Uber in London.”
You can sign it here.