standard –Londoners oppose Boris Johnson’s attempts to rein in the growth of controversial minicab app Uber, a poll found today.
Almost six in 10 are against City Hall proposals to make Uber passengers wait five minutes between booking a car and setting off.
Over seven in 10 do not think Uber should be barred from showing the location of available cars on a map on its smartphone app, another proposal made by Transport for London, while two-thirds do not believe Uber should be stopped from introducing a ride-sharing service.
he results come from a survey of 1,011 randomly selected Londoners carried out by polling firm Populus and commissioned by Uber, whose app is used to hail drivers.
In another blow to the Mayor, Business Secretary Sajid Javid warned against “heavy handed” proposals that could push up fares and harm London’s reputation for welcoming new business ideas.
Mr Javid said TfL’s plans could have a “dramatic detrimental impact on consumers in London” by cutting choice and hiking prices.
He even hinted that the Government could intervene if it thought the proposals could “jeopardise” the capital’s reputation.
The Mayor of London is battling to protect traditional black taxis from being undercut by Uber.
ransport for London recently issued a consultation on 25 proposals that critics say would hobble Uber, such as making passengers wait five minutes and banning the app from displaying nearby cars.
Jo Bertram, Regional General Manager of Uber in the UK, said: “It’s clear Londoners overwhelmingly oppose TFL’s proposals. These plans would change the Uber Londoners know and love today. They would be bad for riders, bad for drivers and bad for London.”
A spokesman for the Mayor said: “The Mayor has long supported the growth of new technology and recognises that innovation needs to be nurtured and embraced. However, the growth of digital technology has brought substantial change and significant additional pressure across London’s private hire market. The massive increase in the number of private hire vehicles on London’s roads has inevitably led to concerns over vehicle emissions and increased congestion.”
Speaking at a Commons committee, Mr Javid said: “I’m not interested in heavy handed regulation, I want to make sure that consumers are put first in any assessment.”
Asked about the five-minute delay and other measures. Mr Javid told the Business, Innovation and Skills Select Committee: “If these things went ahead many people that think that it would have a dramatic detrimental impact on consumers in London and choice and prices.”
Tory MP Richard Fuller asked if his department would intervene to stop the plans. Mr Javid replied: “Hopefully, I have made my thoughts on this clear. We as a government welcome innovation, we welcome disruptive technology. I wouldn’t want to see anything done that jeopardises our status as a country that welcomes investment, jobs and puts consumers first.”
Mr Johnson recently accused Uber drivers of “systematically” breaking the law by hovering in popular locations and waiting to be hailed. source standard.co.uk/