Press Release: TfL’s Uber crackdown would take ordinary Londoners out of the driving seat

For Immediate Release | For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Head of Communications Kate Andrews: | 07476 915072. Commenting on leaked documents which reveal Transport for London's proposed regulations on private hire taxis, Head of Digital Policy at the Adam Smith Institute, Charlotte Bowyer, said:

Transport for London’s leaked consultation document is not only a thinly-veiled attack on Uber, but an attack on all forms of competition and potential new services in the private hire transportation space. Many of the proposals would be truly damaging to passengers and take ordinary Londoners out of the driving seat.

It is hard to see how a mandatory (five minute) wait time between booking a vehicle and it arriving can provide any value or security to consumers, and only furnishes the ‘flag down’ black cab trade with an artificial competitive advantage. And whilst it may be useful for passengers to be able book rides a week in advance, there is absolutely no reason why all private hire firms must be treated as ‘one size fits all’ and forced to offer such a service.

Furthermore, proposed restrictions on the number of operators a driver may work for only serves to hurt hard-working and entrepreneurial drivers, who often combine shifts at traditional minicab companies with flexible and adhoc hours with Uber. Ultimately this will hurt passengers by reducing the supply of drivers.

Notes to Editors:

The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.