A Tunbridge Wells councillor has issued a warning to members of the public not to get into unlicensed vehicles, after reports surfaced across social media that Uber drivers were circulating looking for work in the area.
Controversial ride-sharing app Uber is not licensed to operate in Tunbridge Wells and now councillor Bob Backhouse wants to remind local residents that getting into an unlicensed vehicle can cause all sorts of problems.
The council posted a message on their Facebook page after receiving reports of Ubers operating illegally in the area.
In the message posted on social media, the council said: 'Going out tonight? We’ve seen a post from someone on a local online selling site saying Uber is in town.
'Uber isn’t licensed by TWBC so please be careful. Only use licensed cabs and private hire vehicles. If you use an unlicensed vehicle chances are the insurance won’t be valid.'
As reported first in the Times Local News, Councillor Bob Backhouse, chair of the licensing committee said: “Uber is not licensed in the borough and has not made an application to the council’s licensing service.
“There is a clear safety message here and that is that taxi and private hire users should make sure they only use licensed vehicles.”
Chairman of Tunbridge Wells Hackney Carriages, Shujaullah Baraki said: “Nobody should get in a taxi that is unlicensed, and if Uber were allowed to operate here they would not be good for the taxi business.
“I am against Uber coming to Tunbridge Wells, as are a lot of taxi drivers as it will lose us our jobs.”
A spokesperson for the San Francisco app company said: “We recognise there have been concerns about private hire journeys crossing jurisdictional boundaries.
“Last year we introduced changes that means drivers are only able to use our app within the region where they are licensed as a private hire driver.
“We continue to work closely with local councils on this issue.”