At 5:41am this morning 28 April 2017, the Branch Secretary of the GMB Union (Steve Garelick) made this statement about the relicensing issue concerning the hail app company Uber: “Uber will only be granted a 1 year licence on renewal.” He was – according to TaxiLeaks – then asked by a respected trade voice if this was a fact, or just a prediction, to which he made an affirmative reply: “I know this.”
Although Steve has said that Uber will be granted a one year operators’ licence, this has nothing to do with the scandalous controversy, which alleges members of a previous government administration and their friends and colleagues, were implicated in putting pressure on the former Mayor of London Boris Johnson, to go easy on Uber. In the meantime the London Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) has made a formal criminal complaint to the Serious Fraud Office about the behaviour of the former Prime Minister, Chancellor and other regarding the licensing of Uber.
The new one year operators’ licence is actually a stop gap measure by TfL while the consultation for a massive increase in licence fees take its course.
If the consultation goes TfL’s way, which consultations seem to have a habit of doing, then it could get very expensive to be a PHV operator in London. The largest companies (Uber included in this bracket) will have to find £1.6m plus £68 per vehicle. But all this to one side, according to the GMB branch secretary, Uber’s relicensing is already a done deal.
The Good Law Project has today stated that their Uber claim has been drafted and is ready to go. The say they are currently taking advice from a specialist costs QC and will issue proceedings shortly.
- The London taxi trade is taking action against favourable treatment of Uber by the Conservative government.