Addison Lee, the largest minicab company in Europe, has attacked Uber in a letter to London Mayor Sadiq Khan, claiming that the San Francisco taxi-hailing giant is attempting to “water down” proposed new taxi laws in London.
Transport regulator Transport for London (TfL), which is overseen by the London Mayor’s office, plans to force Uber to notify it of any changes to its business in the capital. It also wants Uber drivers to take written English tests, create a call centre in London, and increase the level of insurance for drivers to cover them when they’re not working.
But Uber is taking legal action against TfL over the proposed new laws, it emerged on Wednesday. The company argues that the laws are too strict, and it has filed a court case in a bid to stop hem being introduced.
Addison Lee, which has 5,000 licensed drivers, wrote a letter to Khan and Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross, urging them to resist Uber’s offensive. (The full letter can be read below.)
Andy Boland, CEO of Addison Lee, said in a statement: “Having previously backed the proposals it’s hard to understand Uber’s resistance to implementation of these new regulations. The whole industry was fully involved in the consultation and there is a strong belief that they will benefit both passengers and drivers.”
“We whole heartedly support Transport for London’s new regulations to improve the quality and safety of London’s private hire industry. We believe they will benefit both passengers and drivers and also help reduce the growing amount of congestion and pollution we have recently seen.”
Uber London manager Tom Elvidge told City A.M. that “this legal action is very much a last resort. We’re particularly disappointed that, after a lengthy consultation process with Transport for London, the goalposts have moved at the last minute and new rules are now being introduced that will be bad for both drivers and tech companies like Uber.”
Here’s the letter from Addison Lee to Sadiq Khan:
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