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Crawley Council are ‘actively investigating’ local driver concerns around London licensed Ubers working Gatwick Airport

Crawley Council are ‘actively investigating’ local taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers' concerns as they are preparing to protest against what they perceive as lax enforcement of local licensing laws at Gatwick Airport.

The demonstration is slated for 6.15pm today, outside The Create Building, aligning with a full council meeting.

The planned protest follows Gatwick Airport's promotion of Uber services to passengers and the introduction of dedicated Uber bays at the airport.

Unite the Union suggests that Uber enjoys an unfair advantage over Crawley’s private hire vehicles by bypassing local licensing regulations. This allows Uber cars, often registered by London regulator Transport For London (TfL), to enter Crawley and wait for passengers. Conversely, local private hire vehicles cannot pick up fares outside their licensed areas unless pre-booked.

This situation has resulted in a surge of London-based Uber cars in Crawley, competing with local drivers for business. Uber's expanding footprint in Crawley's taxi and PHV market is said to be threatening livelihoods and impacting the local economy, which relies heavily on Gatwick Airport.

A spokesperson for Crawley Council said: “We are aware of the complaint and have been actively investigating. More recently, we have received additional evidence, which has extended our investigation. As this is an ongoing investigation, we are unable to provide further public comment at this time.”

Dominic Rothwell, a Regional Officer for Unite the Union, said yesterday: “Crawley Council needs to protect the local taxi trade, which is vital to Crawley’s economic wellbeing, by enforcing its own laws against Uber.

“The council needs to release its promised investigation into Uber’s behaviour and crackdown on both the company and Gatwick airport, both of which are responsible for setting up a business model that is a direct contravention of the council’s licensing laws.

“The totally unfair practice of London-based Uber cars picking up fares booked while they are parked up in Crawley must end.”


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