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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:20 am 
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Fight for survival for taxi drivers up against Uber

https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/1801143 ... vers-uber/

A CONCERNED cabbie has warned taxi firms could cease to exist.

Jeremy Gray said they were being starved of business as Uber drivers moved into Brighton and Hove from other nearby towns.

The 65-year-old has been a private hire driver since 2005 but said it was a struggle to contend with rivals such as Uber.

He said: “Unfortunately the way that business is going it is inevitable that sooner or later there will no longer be any independent taxi firms in Brighton.

“Uber’s marketing is so powerful that it will not be possible to compete, although the cabs in Brighton generally offer a better service at more competitive prices.”

Brighton and Hove City Council said their licensing requirements for private hire drivers are high - a deterrent for Uber drivers in the city.

But Mr Gray said this “doesn’t really matter” as drivers for the company are being licensed by other nearby councils with less strict licensing requirements, such as Lewes, then travelling to work in Brighton and Hove “as and when they like”.

He also said taxi drivers in the city are currently facing several disadvantages.

Mr Gray said: “Really there is no longer any point in having ‘the knowledge’ as out of town drivers simply use their Sat Nav systems.

“We are also compelled to have a CCTV system installed, costing £500, which is not a requirement of all councils.”

He said this set-up was a major cause for concern.

Mr Gray said: “Drivers are coming into Brighton, earning money and then spending it elsewhere.

“So, they are benefitting from our residents without having to pay for local services, high rents and just being in a generally more expensive area to live in.

“These drivers are draining money out of our local economy rather than recycling it as Brighton drivers do.”

To promote local drivers, he proposed that only Brighton and Hove licensed cars were allowed to use the bus and taxi lanes.

In May last year Brighton and Hove City Council ruled that Uber was not a “fit and proper entity” to hold a licence.

It was concerned the tech-giant was not using Brighton and Hove licensed drivers - something they had previously agreed to.

Concerns were also raised about a 2016 data breach which put user’s information at risk.

But Uber then won an appeal in December.

In response to Mr Gray’s concerns a Brighton and Hove City Council spokesman said: “Many of these issues have been dealt with through the court’s process as to whether or not to grant Uber a license to operate in the city.

“It’s very clear in law that provided a vehicle, its driver and operator, called the triple lock, are all registered in the same area, they have the ability to have pre-booked work in other local authority areas. The city council has raised its concerns with the Government as we now have a two tier system of standards in the city – high and rigorous for city licensed drivers, but lower for drivers licensed in other areas.”


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:28 am 
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This is the photo the Argus is using to illustrate the piece - must have been a quiet day at the station :shock:

Image


Anyway, 34 comments on the Argus's website, and some quite well informed, many the usual anti-trade gripes about fares, credit cards and grumpy drivers, but also the usual extreme and misleading nonsense from both sides, eg:

Quote:
You do realise the Uber employs undocumented people with criminal backgrounds, your at risk getting in an Uber.


Quote:
You get into a turquoise cab that looks like hundreds of others and you know NOTHING of who's car you have got into. If there is an assault, you have no details or identification of the car at all, it's just one of hundreds of identical cars, and if you don't record the precise time, you don't even have that.

Just think about it for a moment.


And then there's the likes of this:

Quote:
Any expectation that the Brighton public will support taxi drivers is completely misplaced! They have had it so good for so long...big houses, multiple holidays, large disposable incomes and with clever accountancy , very little heading the way of the taxman.

Zero sympathy for them.

All they ever do is complain and moan yet are coining it in and always have been.


Multiple holidays? I've sure most of them are rarely abroad at all and think a daytrip to Eastbourne is pushing the boat out :badgrin:


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 11:54 am 
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StuartW wrote:

Quote:
Any expectation that the Brighton public will support taxi drivers is completely misplaced! They have had it so good for so long...big houses, multiple holidays, large disposable incomes and with clever accountancy , very little heading the way of the taxman.

Zero sympathy for them.

All they ever do is complain and moan yet are coining it in and always have been.


Multiple holidays? I've sure most of them are rarely abroad at all and think a daytrip to Eastbourne is pushing the boat out :badgrin:

It is that Sussex fella. He is always on holiday!

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 6:48 pm 
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Quote:
Multiple holidays? I've sure most of them are rarely abroad at all and think a day trip to Eastbourne is pushing the boat out


I think there are a lot down there coining it in if Sussex is anything to go by he can't be the only one in a town full of millionaires and and pink pound notes :wink:

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:48 pm 
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Clearly a large number of non local cars working the city will have an effect on local taxi/PH trade.

But guess what? The world hasn't ended, and every day I wake up the sun is still shining, somewhere at least. :D

So for someone who has been in the trade quite a while and has a large number of posh mates, and busy busy less posh mates, times aren't too bad.

The lads who are suffering are the taxi independents, the multi taxi owners who can't get drivers, and the large non Uber taxi operators.

I have sympathy for the former, but for the latter two, not much.

One thing that I have noticed is that the increase number of vehicles working the city has, in my opinion, increased the number of people wanting our services. Akin to the concern that TfL had in respect of Uber effecting the number of folks using the tubes.

Now I'm not saying Uber hasn't effected the general trade negatively, cos they have. But as I have always said, you look after your punters and they will look after you.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 04, 2019 8:50 pm 
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Quote:
This is the photo the Argus is using to illustrate the piece - must have been a quiet day at the station :shock:

It will be even quieter next Monday when they move the rank round the back of the station.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:29 am 
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Sussex wrote:
The lads who are suffering are the taxi independents, the multi taxi owners who can't get drivers, and the large non Uber taxi operators.

I have sympathy for the former, but for the latter two, not much.


Sad as it is I don't think the indies have a future outside of smaller areas where you can be a decent sized op with 10 cars. In larger areas the indies just get gobbled up by the bigger boys and their phone numbers added to the long list like some sort of Borg-for-Hire. It's the biggest barrier to entry for a new taxi firm, getting people to call you instead of the bigger firms when they've had those firm's numbers in their head for years.

I do feel an amount of schadenfreude that Uber are now doing to those big boys what they've done to countless indies over the years.


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