Updated: Nov 12, 2020
Unite the Union has welcomed an agreement reached between Crawley councillors and Uber to limit the operations of London licensed Uber vehicles in Sussex.
The union, local taxi drivers and campaigners are now calling on Crawley Borough Council to keep up the pressure on Uber’s activities at Gatwick Airport.
Following a campaign by local taxi drivers and a hugely successful rally on Saturday 31 October, Crawley Borough Council approached Uber and Transport for London (TfL) to agree a 'geo-fence' covering areas outside Gatwick Airport to limit Uber's operations, and to support local taxi drivers who have been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Gatwick Airport will continue to permit the Uber app to remain operational within the boundaries of the airport, charging London licensed Uber vehicles to use one of its long stay car parks. The union says this decision will continue to deny local taxi drivers of much needed business in the middle of the coronavirus crisis.
Unite, local taxi drivers and campaigners are calling on the council to keep the pressure on Gatwick Airport. They say the airport must demonstrate its commitment to the local economy and local employment by ending its agreement with Uber and to support hardworking, locally licensed taxi and private hire drivers.
Unite regional officer Jamie Major said: "It's good news to see Crawley's Labour councillors making progress on behalf of local taxi drivers but more needs to be done.
"We hope the council will keep the pressure on Gatwick Airport. Thousands of local jobs have been lost and the airport should be going the extra mile for the local economy. Crawley has been a major source of skilled employment for the airport over the years. Gatwick should be putting local taxi drivers first, not Uber.
“Crawley has been hit hard by the pandemic and whether you're a politician or an employer, the right thing to do is to support the community in these challenging times."