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Uber to ‘reach out’ to Harborough District Council following taxi driver rank concerns

Updated: Mar 15

Uber has announced its intention to ‘reach out’ to Harborough District Council after receiving feedback from Neil O’Brien, the Conservative MP for Harborough, Oadby, and Wigston, about issues raised by local taxi drivers in Market Harborough.

During a recent meeting with local drivers, O’Brien shared the growing discontent among licensed taxi operators regarding the challenges posed by out-of-area licensed Uber drivers. The drivers, licensed in areas with potentially lower standards or fees, are said to be affecting the earnings and operations of those licensed by Harborough Council.

There were two primary issues highlighted. One of which was the controversial practice of cross-border hiring, which allows Uber drivers from other areas to operate in Market Harborough. This situation is causing unrest among local drivers who are mandated to pay significant fees, including £320 for taxi licences and an additional £360 for using the taxi rank at Market Harborough Station, among other expenses.

O’Brien raised safety concerns and questioned the equity of competition, citing instances of Uber drivers allegedly picking up passengers directly from taxi ranks. The local taxi community is urging the council to enforce the regulations to safeguard their business interests, passengers' safety and ensure a fair operating environment.

Parking on taxi ranks in Market Harborough, and in most other UK regions, is not allowed, and those who do so may be subject to fines.

Parking on taxi ranks impacts the taxi industry by limiting available spaces for legitimate taxis to pick up passengers, potentially reducing their income. It may also lead to operational inefficiencies, as taxis have to find alternative spots, leading to longer wait times for passengers and decreased service levels.

Minicabs parked up illegally on taxi ranks can also confuse the public thinking the vehicle is in fact a taxi. Minicabs or private hire vehicles are only insured to pick up passengers who have pre-booked via an operator and cannot ply-for-hire on the streets or ranks.

In response to these concerns, an Uber spokesperson assured their commitment to safety and industry standards. Speaking to local radio station HFM, an Uber spokesperson added: “We are reaching out to Harborough District Council to discuss steps we can take to address any concerns."


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