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Edinburgh Taxi Association; Uber not fit and proper for the UK

Edinburgh and Glasgow are now looking to follow London's lead in kicking Uber out from it's respective streets. Transport for London's brave and decisive decision has put pressure on other UK authorities to act. Councils in Scotland are being asked again whether they should be granted permission to work in its two largest cities Edinburgh and Glasgow. Having been labelled "not fit and proper" in the UK's biggest market has raised serious questions whether that rings true for the rest of the UK too. TaxiPoint spoke to Steve Greenhorn, Chairman of Edinburgh Taxi Association who said: "US tech firms often proudly boast of their aim and ability to “disrupt” the existing order, as if this were automatically a good thing. Regrettably, their disruption is all too frequently thoughtless of any consequence other than to make a fast buck for themselves. Uber offers a dystopian vision of an unregulated, unsafe, unfair, unstable and uncaring future in which the vast majority of their driversscrape a living through low-paid work with zero employment rights. Uber are in court (27/9/17) to argue against giving these drivers any rights at all. This is not an Uber v taxi fight. Its Uber v the regulator that is the situation. Uber must obey the regulations set down, primarily for public safety, but they either flout the regulations or down right ignore them and the regulator in London has called them out on this: It’s approach to reporting serious sexual assaults in their cars to the police Its approach to Using software (known as greyball) to limit or bar the regulator into the workings of the system and carry out regulatory checks Its approach to bogus health certificates & DBS checks for drivers A licensed taxi driver in Edinburgh must go through all checks and then complete disclosure. Uber (Britannia) is the same company trading in Edinburgh with a PHC booking office licence. However in court today they have now said that the way they take bookings is potentially illegal. Confused? The driver cannot accept a job through the app without it first going through the booking office. Uber say it’s the driver that takes the booking. This is illegal. Edinburgh council should be looking into Uber practices as a whole and not as a separate entity in Edinburgh. Public safety is paramount and this is why Taxi’s are heavily regulated. Uber have shown a complete disregard for regulation & safety in favour of profit. It has also been noticed in Edinburgh that PHC drivers “tout” for business. This is where they will pick up off the street illegally, sometimes claiming they are a Taxi. This is dangerous. Not only are they uninsured for this type of work, there is no record of that journey. We unfortunately saw only recently, a young lady sexually assaulted in a car she got into at Grassmarket. She apparently thought she was getting into a Taxi. In Edinburgh, a Taxi has an orange light with Taxi on it. This is the only vehicle insured and driver trained to pick passengers off the street. PHC vehicles must be pre-booked. More and more passengers are using App’s to book a cab and all the Black Cab companies have an App along with Gett, City Cabs, Central Taxis & ComCab all have an App for the tech minded. Local PHC companies also have App facilities. With regard to the current decision taken by TFL to not renew their operators licence on the capital, it is also our view that if Uber are not fit and proper for London then surely they are not fit and proper to operate anywhere in the uk. We will be putting pressure on our local council and the Scottish government regarding this decision. We stand shoulder to shoulder with our colleagues in London and throughout the UK in this fight. Unity and strength throughout the uk will prevail and I’m sure we will we combat this threat to our great trade. We deserve better our customers deserve better."

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