Letter to the Taxi Leaks Editor : Uber can never compare to you…

Over the weekend, Taxi Leaks recieved a communication from Anne Flint, who lives in Colorado Springs USA. The comment was left on an archived post from mid 2013, “How can London Cabbies survive the threat of private hire firms? by David styles”.

We have therefore reposted the comment as a letter to the editor
I recently discovered your blog after reading an article on The Knowledge. I’m an American Anglophile (been there 5 times – which is not enough). 

I’m distressed to learn of all the legal problems plaguing your industry. It seems to me that one way you can complete is to emphasize the history, charm, need I say leg room, and ability of your drivers to point out places and talk about the history.
UBER can never compare to that. 
Tourists want the traditional taxi ride. Even though I think it is sad that the electronic “ease” (your competition’s word, not mine) is going to take hold no matter what you do to defeat it, it is probably the way of the future.
BUT there is no reason you traditional drivers couldn’t come up with your own version of this and serve your public in this manner. As for all the legal and administrative issues you are facing, it sounds like you have to find a way to really get tough.
No one is listening to you. Have you thought of rioting in the streets? I wish you the best of luck and next time I’m over there I will be taking the traditional little black taxi.
Editorial Comment:
Anne’s showing of support for the iconic London Taxi trade is typical for many visitors and residents alike.
Yes we have found recent competition hard, but the thing that’s been hardest to stomach is our own licensing authority showing of bias towards certain larger private hire companies.
The bending and breaking of rules in order to show preferential treatment to a multinational billion dollar setup, banned in many cities around the world has not gone unnoticed. Not only by us, but also the Greater London Authority, which has branded TfL as woefully inadequate.
But it’s no good pleading hardship.
We have to show we are better than the rest.
TfL say that because this type of technology wasn’t around when the PH act was written, then a lot of it doesn’t apply to app based technology.
This is total rubbish, it’s like saying that guns weren’t invented when Moses was given the 10 commandments, so murdering someone with a gun isn’t covered in law.
Legislation is laid down by Parliament and kept up-to-date by case law. If TfL fail to act, fail to prosecute then case law starts to flag behind. If legislation hasn’t kept up with this technology, then it’s TfL’s failure.
Even without new legislation, it’s still illegal to accept an immediate hiring, which hasn’t been pre booked by a third party. This is tantamount to plying for hire, which is covered concisely by the Hackney Carriage and Private Hire Acts.
Ok, they have new technology, but we have this also.
They have apps…and so do we.
They may have Sat Navs….but  we have the knowledge!
And that’s something they will never have.
Very soon, we will be seeing a game changer that could revolutionise the taxis trade…but, more on this later!
Wedding Taxis

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