It has been revealed today that the Severn Trent Water company have been using Uber drivers to hunt for water leaks.
The BBC reported that Severn Trent had sent out around 50 Uber drivers to look for small leaks, claiming that it was cheaper to send out the drivers to obtain live video footage rather than send an engineer.
However, concerns have been raised by the GMB over customer safety implications, and the wider public at large over the Uber drivers deployment by Severn Trent.
The GMB explained that the water company's customers were not impressed at the use of minicab drivers to detect leaks rather than trained technicians.
GMB national officer Stuart Fegan said: “When I found out Severn Trent are using taxi drivers to investigate leaks I thought it must be a joke.
“But no one is laughing - this has got huge implications for customers, the drivers and the public at large.
“Water engineers are highly trained specialists - they can spot if water is contaminated and if water produces a risk to the public. I doubt most taxi drivers can.
“They also don’t know how to pin-point leaks - meaning repair crews can dig unnecessary holes in the highway.
“And how is someone going to feel after they report a leak, expecting a Severn Trent worker to attend with a uniform and the necessary training and a taxi driver turns up. They’d think it was a hoax call.
"Have Severn Trent consulted with its customers about this practice or discussed it with the regulator or HSE?
“Severn Trent needs to see sense and cancel the Uber leaks programme immediately."
Severn Trent water claimed that it had carried out a number of two-week trials so as to look towards establising more efficient ways to find and fix leaks.