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Uber returns to Ipswich with new operating licence after ‘Local Cab’ shutdown

Ipswich District Council has granted Uber a licence to operate, signalling the ride-hail giant's comeback in the city.

This development is part of Uber's broader expansion in the UK, following recent approvals in cities such as Hull, Dundee, and Swansea.

The decision comes on the heels of Uber ending its 'Local Cab' feature in late 2023, which allowed integration with local taxi services. Since terminating its partnership with Autocab's iGo network, Uber has strategically targeted regions experiencing taxi shortages, a decline in driver numbers or a spike in demand from passengers.

Industry insiders have questioned if Uber's latest expansion leverages data from the defunct 'Local Cab' service. However, Uber's latest city launches suggest a wider strategic approach, reaching beyond former 'Local Cab' markets.

With an upcoming election, Uber's strategy also appears to preempt potential regulatory shifts. Changes to ‘cross-border’ working rules, as indicated by senior Labour figures, could impact the industry. Uber's proactive expansion aims to secure consistent service across the UK under evolving regulations.

The East Anglian Daily Times reports that Ipswich Borough Council granted Uber's full operating licence on Monday 13 May, marking a significant step in Uber's push to widen its UK footprint.


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