Friday, December 04, 2015

One Of The Last Bastions Of The Licensed Taxi Trade, Under Threat.... By Jim Thomas

The Taxi For Hire Light : Will Uber Circumvent Legislation ?

On the day Uber launch UberPool, a service that former commissioner of TfL, Sir Peter Hendy said would be illegal, they now announce plans to (again) circumvent the Taxi "For Hire" Signage legislation. 

Last year, Uber cars were photographed displaying illuminate signage in the front windscreen, in the form of a blue neon U.

Licensing authorities up and down the country ordered Uber to cease and desist, over a number of issues. Not only were they contravening the terms of their licence in regards of displaying an illuminate "For Hire" sign, but also, only certain emergency services are allowed under current law to display blue lights. 
See list below: 

But now Uber believe they have found a way round the "For Hire" light restriction . 

Below is a short article that has just started to appear on line.

Problem: Passengers getting in the wrong car!
Yesterday, Uber announced that it has come up with a solution, something a little easier than scanning the street for license plates. 

SPOT helps riders find their drivers by displaying a neon light on the driver’s windshield. Users can simply look at their app, pick what color they want their driver to display, and follow the appropriate green, blue, pink, yellow or whatever color glow. 

Actually they haven't learnt from previous experience. As we've said its illegal to display a blue light, but hey, this is Uber...they can do what they like, as TfL, with most of there licensing contraventions, just turn a blind eye. 

Below is a letter from Manchester's compliance team, sent when the blue U first materialised in their city:

Dear Mr xxxxx

I am now in a position to update you on the concerns you raised. I am aware that you have recently written to the Executive Member, Cllr Chappell to express concerns that this matter was not being dealt with, I can assure you that this was not the case.

Our initial enquiries into this matter were centred around identifying the device that was installed into private hire vehicles, examining the device and determining its purpose.  Uber were then informed of our views and compliance with relevant legislation was requested.  Uber have given instructions to all their drivers to remove the illuminated sign from their vehicles.  We are now monitoring the situation to ensure compliance.
Andy Scragg
Senior Compliance Officer
Licensing Unit

Let's hope that TfL compliance are as quick to respond to this issue, should Uber London decide to equip it's vehicles with for hire lights in the capital.

Let's also hope our representative orgs take a preemptive approach to this rather than wait till its becomes an established practise.


Anonymous said...

Driving a London cab for 10yrs now every time theres an article about U*** just makes me cringe. We seem to be battling with TFL, Boris and U*** (G.S). and getting no where fast. 1 org 1 battle, not as it is.

Super Bob said...

Light or no light, the whole situation will implode soon, as London's streets come to a grinding halt with the sheer volume of traffic. I am more annoyed we are being squeezed out of bus London Bridge.......(many more to come, I am sure)

Anonymous said...

Super bob : we was never allowed in the bus lane on London bridge. I use bus lane on London bridge every day.

Anonymous said...

Uber will keep pushing till they get their way simples ... they know TFL are weak and if i was advising them I would go for broke ...

Lights inside (as per article)
Set up uber marshalled ranks (THE PUBLIC WILL DECIDE)
Get planning permission and open Uber drivers convenience huts (Inc Loos)
And Yes a massive Charity drive




Anonymous said...

Says a lot for the passenger if they cant read a number plate.