An investigation will be launched into how Uber operates in Bath following a “rapid deterioration” of the city’s taxi service. Reports the Bath Chronicle
- Bath taxi drivers want Uber’s operating licence to be removed
- Uber vehicles swamp the city at weekends
- Uber started operating in Bath June 2017
The investigation was approved by Bath and North East Somerset after council members met with drivers on 23rd March
Drivers are frustrated at the minicab operator is taking work away from the local taxi trade and is lowering standards in the city.
Local cab drivers attended the Guildhall to make their case to the licensing authority. They said that out of town drivers and vehicles cannot offer the same level of service and knowledge of the city that they can using GPS. They also made the point that Uber doesn’t facilitate disabled passengers.
A webcast of the Council meeting is available here
On the issue of cross border hirings, the Bath Chronicle has previously reported an Uber spokesman that said:
“Licensing works on a triple check system so the vehicle, individual and operator’s licence must all be from the same council.
“That said, we hold a number of licences in councils around Bath where licensed drivers can also register with the Uber app and unlike taxis, private-hire drivers are not geographically restricted to their councils.
Again according to the Chronicle, Martin Veal Bath Council cabinet member for community services, said he was happy to start the investigation into Uber, saying:
“I’ve had meetings this morning with the taxi forum. I’ve had meetings with their reps and I’ve spoken with the regional area manager for Uber.
“They’re reasonably accepting of the challenges that have been laid at their doorsteps, however, they are a multi-national organisation that is incredibly well funded.
“Our officers are just as frustrated with the way they’re operating as the taxi drivers. I do completely sympathise with the drivers.
“I will ask officers to closely monitor all issues in the future and I thank the dedicated drivers that we have in continuing against a situation that’s not of their own making.”
The Council vote for the investigation into Uber’s licensing and how it operates was unanimous
The report will be available in July.
Posted by Peter Rose @peterjrose1