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#Boris Bashes #Uber for 'Breaking the #Law'

The Telegraph

Wacky-but-wonderful Boris Johnson has increased the pressure felt by Uber by declaring that the low-fare high-convenience app is "systematically breaking the law" in his weekly column for The Telegraph. 

For good measure, The mayor of London, who is also chairman of Transport for London (TfL) began his article by commending the interactive transport network for its convenience, affordability and, you know, for doing a ruddy "terrific job". 

But its not all sunshine and roses, as he goes on to explain. The problem lies herein the fact that the app essentially mimics the process of hailing a black cab: by allowing the user to 'see' the available taxi vehicles around them and automatically sending their request for a vehicle, the process is essentially the same albeit without the physical action of doing so. This, as he clarifies, is to basically "ply for hire in the streets...to do exactly what the law says they are not supposed to do". 

BoJo (possibly the most enjoyable portmanteau ever concocted) has previously defended the success of Uber. As a good politician always does, Johnson has attempted to secure popularity on both sides of the debate by speaking in favour of the free-market success of the app, but also recommending a Knowledge-like test for its drivers to guarantee their plausibility and effectiveness as a paid cabbie in London.

In this most recent plot twist, the mayor calls for changes in legislation that allow for the black cab and minicab trades to coexist in somewhat peaceful harmony. However, he cites the imperative for upholding the "existing and long-standing legal distinctions between black cabs and minicabs" until change can be brought about. He insists that this legal malpractice is a result of the technology itself, that allows the for the law to be easily broken. 

This isn't the worst news Uber has had in the UK of late. Recently revealed proposals by the TfL to tighten private hire regulation have the potential to slow down its exponential rate of growth if successful. However, Uber isn't going down without a fight: it is already urging its users to sign a petition against the measures, and so far 100,000 have signed. 

Looks like 1 - 0 to the black cabbies for now, and Boris makes for an entertaining referee. 


SMF rookie, fresh out of academia, looking forward to more creative ventures. With a love of current affairs, green tea and an ever insatiable wanderlust, Katie is ready to have her voice heard. Follow her @KatieAtSMF

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#Boris Bashes #Uber for 'Breaking the #Law' Reviewed by Katie Gascoyne on Saturday, October 10, 2015 Rating: 5

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