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CROSS BORDER: Gatwick Airport taxi and PHV drivers to protest over out-of-town TfL licensed Uber drivers

Updated: Jun 18

Gatwick Airport taxi and private hire vehicle (PHV) drivers are gearing up for further protests against Crawley Council, accusing it of failing to enforce local licensing laws against ridehail giants Uber.

The protest is set to take place at 6.15pm on Tuesday 18 June, outside The Create Building. This demonstration coincides with a full council meeting and follows recent developments at Gatwick Airport, where Uber services have been prominently advertised, and designated Uber bays have been established.

Unite the Union say taxi drivers are concerned that Uber vehicles, which are licensed with Transport for London (TfL), are operating in Crawley without adhering to local licensing regulations. Union officials say this situation places Uber at a competitive advantage over Crawley’s private hire taxis, who are restricted from picking up passengers unless pre-booked within their licensed areas.

The influx of London-registered Uber cars into Crawley has led to an increase in out-of-town vehicles waiting for passengers, directly impacting the local private hire sector. This encroachment is perceived as a threat to the livelihoods of local taxi drivers and the economic stability of the Crawley area, which relies heavily on Gatwick Airport.

Dominic Rothwell, a regional officer for Unite the Union, stated that Crawley Council must take immediate action to protect the local taxi trade, which is crucial for the town’s economy. Rothwell urged the council to release its long-awaited investigation into Uber's operations and to clamp down on both Uber and Gatwick Airport for facilitating practices that violate local laws.

Rothwell said: “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.”

A Crawley Council spokesperson said: “We are aware of the complaint and have been actively investigating. More recently we have been provided with additional evidence, which means that our investigation has been extended. As this is a live investigation, we are unable to make further public comment at this time.”


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