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Are Uber about to attack taxi trade as the cause for congestion and pollution in London

Following the recent APPG review the cab trade expects Uber's PR machine to be working overtime.

What will they focus on?

They have already shown their hand by going on the attack focussing their outrage towards the black cab industry. 

It is thought the minicab firm will look to publicise the fact that black cabs in London are supposedly the cause of congestion and high pollution levels.

An Uber spokesman has already questioned the proposed capping of private hire numbers stating:

"Capping consumer choice is not the way to tackle congestion and air pollution, but new technology can be part of the answer. More than half the miles travelled with UberX in London are in hybrid or fully electric cars and our car-sharing option UberPool is saving mileage and emissions too. It’s a shame this report doesn’t address why black cabs are the only vehicles exempt from the mayor’s new ultra low emissions zone. This is particularly surprising since Transport for London figures show black taxis are responsible for 18 per cent of road transport nitrogen oxide emissions in central London."

So are we in fact the cause of congestion and pollution?

Of course not! The data used by Uber has been twisted out of shape to fit their own agenda. Yes taxis did reportedly attribute to 18% of emissions in London. What they fail to point out is the impact of having 118,000 private hire vehicles on the road slowing down journey times for the whole network.

You simply can't say adding 60,000 more vehicles to a road network will help congestion and pollution levels! UberPool has failed in the UK with drivers and customers choosing the cheap UberX as their favoured option on Uber. The data used by our friends in San Francisco can also be spun in our favour.

Despite private hire vehicles outnumbering taxis by over 5:1 the data shows taxis are covering more distance in the capital each day. In fact, on average 1 taxi covers the same distance as 10 private hire vehicles licensed by TfL. 

It's also worth noting that the data relates to TfL's most congested roads. However, a congested road for private hire is different to that of a congested road for a taxi driver. For example, London's most congested road is Jamaica Road, but the bus and taxi lane is predominantly clear.

So let's not allow Uber the luxury of spinning data and stats to their own advantage. Let's promote what we do instead.

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