Brentwood taxi drivers have been forced to listen to a council meeting discussing whether to ban Uber from the area through open windows after a packed room saw some drivers banned from entering.
Uber could be forced to leave the town after taxi drivers claimed that they were threat to the taxi trade.
The Planning and Licensing Committee for Brentwood Borough Council and Brentwood taxi drivers have met to discuss the possibility of banning Uber from the area.
However, due to the lack of space at Ursuline Convent School in Queens Road and seats quickly being taken up, some drivers were reportedly blocked from entering the meeting.
The problem was solved by taxi drivers who were fortunate enough to grab a seat, as they opened windows in the room to allow those outside to hear what was being said.
Uber drivers are not currently licensed by Brentwood Borough Council, but are licensed by Transport for London (TFL).
The Brentwood Borough Taxi Drivers Association (BBTDA) has written to Brentwood Borough Council detailing the issues that say they are facing due to the rising number of drivers in the town who are licensed elsewhere, like Uber.
The BBTDA say Brentwood Council "has no control" over the vehicles registered to TFL and are therefore unable to deal with any complaints and issues that may arise.
They also claimed that the changes were causing "the erosion of localism and a local trade based upon drivers who live and work in the borough and develop strong and positive relationships with their customers".
The licensing officer’s report recommends that the council consider the representations from the BBTDA, and to agree for a letter to be sent to Uber asking them to withdraw from Brentwood or to apply for an operations licence with them.
However, legal advice provided to the council concludes that by a legal definition Uber are not ‘operating’ in the town and are not doing anything unlawful.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT:
Just another council that have found out too late that the law doesn’t appear to protect the licensed Taxi Trade in their area.