Uber brings in out of town drivers after boycott from Brighton cabbies

Posted On 09 Nov 2016 at 9:35 am

An Uber driver has been caught on camera saying that the company has been urging out of town drivers to come to Brighton after a boycott by Brighton cabbies, which has reportedly resulted in just one local driver signing up.

The video, published by the GMB Brighton and Hove taxi section, shows the driver, Rashid, telling his passenger he’s really busy because the company doesn’t have enough drivers, and that Uber has asked him to come to Brighton.

The driver, who says it’s his first time in Brighton, seems to have difficulty knowing which way to go. He also says that he’s not licensed by Brighton and Hove City Council, which has much stricter regulations than London, where he is licensed. He lives in Eastbourne. At one point, it also appears the driver has gone through a red light.

When Uber was first granted its licence in October last year, it told the council it would only use Brighton licensed drivers so that they would be abiding by the same rules as the city’s existing minicab firms.

It held several recruitment sessions in the week before it launched – but it’s widely rumoured in the trade that only one local driver has signed up, as the city’s three big cab firms have all said any drivers using Uber will not be welcomed back.

GMB section secretary Andy Peters said: “We will always welcome any new operator into the city and we were very pleased in 2015 at the Uber council licensing meeting when Uber declared that they would only use Brighton and Hove licensed vehicles.

“But the public should be fully aware that Uber are now using London minicabs in Brighton and Hove and in our view that is an insult to the council.

“It appears that London has become the licensing centre to send London minicabs all over the UK rendering local councils redundant in taxi licensing.”

Mr Peters said that London cabs did not have CCTV or need to display licence numbers on the outside of the cab, and that unlicensed drivers were able to drive licensed cabs.

He added: “Very importantly the council has no powers to act on any complaint on any Uber London minicab working in Brighton and Hove. However, if a complaint is made against a Brighton and Hove licensed driver they are called straight in for an interview.”

However, a spokesman for Uber stressed the company was working within the law. He said: “Since launching in Brighton we have been blown away with the demand we’ve seen for Uber.

“We’re currently building the supply of Brighton and Hove drivers to meet this demand. However, it’s not illegal for drivers licensed in other jurisdictions to carry out trips in the city as long as they are pre-booked and dispatched from the operator’s licence they are registered to. The thing that riders love about Uber is no matter what city they use the service in they get the same assurances on partner-driver standards when they book through the app.”

Councillor Jackie O’Quinn, who chairs the council’s Licensing Committee, said: All Brighton and Hove private hire and hackney carriage drivers in the city operate under the same licences and the same guidelines contained in the Blue Book, whether they drive for Uber or any other company. Likewise all drivers undergo the same background checks.

“Under the law of the land, private hire vehicles from other areas, including Uber drivers from other areas, are allowed to pick up passengers in Brighton and Hove.

“Likewise any private hire driver based in Brighton and Hove can pick up in any other area. The law is the same for all companies everywhere and this is a matter entirely beyond any council’s control.

“We do indeed believe that standards are higher in Brighton and Hove than in many other areas and understand the concerns of the local trade about the possibly of inferior services operating in the city.

“We would advise anyone thinking of booking a private hire vehicle who is concerned, to choose a locally-based company.

“Brighton and Hove City Council has worked well over the years with the Brighton taxi trade and we’re proud of this partnership which has resulted in the excellent regulations in the Blue Book.”

  1. Sherlock Reply

    Looks to me like the cameraman didn’t give him the correct address.

  2. John Doe Reply

    He said ladies mile hotel/pub was on his system so I guess rider did give the correct address.

    Local PH drivers should sue council for cost of fitting cctv if rivals don’t need them to do the same job in the same city.

  3. Sarah Reply

    I’ve had exactly same experience many times in last 20 years with licensed cabs in Brighton, frankly.

    • mike Reply

      if you are unhappy, one complaint to the hackney carriage office at Hove town hall regarding any Brighton and Hove licenced driver and the driver is hauled before the enforcement team to answer the complaint and if necessary have his cc tv examined
      with these London mini cabs you have no such recourse as they are totally uncontrolled by B&H city council

  4. Rick Reply

    The passenger comes across very unsympathetically, trying very hard to catch the driver out. I welcome Uber drivers. Healthy competition is a good thing for the fare paying public. Taxi drivers just want to operate a cartel.

    • james Reply

      Work out how much a local tax driver earns per hour after petrol, license, car repairs, car loan costs, tests etc. They are not making a lot of money for being self employed (needing to pay an accountant. Uber just lowers wages further and means you have to go to London if you have a complaint not addressed by Uber!

  5. Aneel Ahmed Reply

    Since when have uber journeys been ‘pre-booked’ ?

  6. Dean Reply

    As soon as all the London uber drivers see this video there gonna be flooding to Brighton. They’ll fill every available parking bay waiting for jobs. And they’ll be pissin and shiting in your front gardens. Just ask the people living around Heathrow airport

    • alex Reply

      Mate, at Heathrow airport Uber has it’s own parking called AVA, with toilets and showers!!! you r a cabbie driver for sure,sorry for you mate Uber will kill you soon,you be begging to join Uber!!!

      • Che Reply

        In your dreams you see that uber will kill London cabbies .You haven’t got a chance

  7. Rob Lambkin-Williams Reply

    Streamline are close to a monopoly anyway, and they really don’t care about customer service (not the drivers, usually they are great). I think UBER are messing with them, and frankly a little competition can’t be bad. Now, about the busses…….

  8. Anas Reply

    If the cameraman stopped talking to the driver trying to make him panic, he will rich his distension easily and safely without any problem , if he is a local taxi driver and have problem with uber just do and sort it directly with uber not with that poor driver

  9. Ady Reply

    Everyone should sign and share this petition.
    Uber are abusing the system.
    https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/168561

  10. alex Reply

    this guy was a black cab driver for sure, a guy that hates Uber and local mini cabs companies!!! everyone complains against Uber,it’s a bussines , in any bussines you have competition!!! Deal with it!! don’t cry like a little girl!!!

  11. Mum about town Reply

    This looked staged and the “passenger” has too much knowledge of the licensing procedure in B&H.
    Obv using their free fare for filming purposes?!?

  12. Keilee Bargeman Reply

    Everyone likes competition. I’m being honest from the get-go. My husband is a London black taxi driver. He has to follow strict rules set by TFL. Uber is not the problem, it’s the lack of regulation set by TFL for this company. It can take months for a potential London cabbie to go through all the correct procedures to ensure public safety, yet TFL were putting through 600 PHV per week. Not all proper checks have been made. It’s a known fact the TFL have failed to disclose sexual assault and assault for this year. It is said to be over 200 in the first 6 months of this year. Dig deeper and you will see that you are taking great risks in using this company. I will always use licensed hackney carriages.

    • lumiel Reply

      The checks for PHV and black cabbies are the same procedures. Uber drivers also have to go through CRB checks.

  13. Rahman Reply

    I am a uber driver in London I am urging every taxi driver in Brighton and Hove don’t join uber they will destroy your livelihood stand against uber don’t let them recruit any driver locally.

  14. Sue Davies Reply

    Sooner or later uber drivers working in Brighton. Will sexually assault female passengers, it only a matter of time

  15. Cortado Reply

    Take a look at most taxi drivers here in brighton they make a big percentage of migrant workers who haven’t been given the opportunity to work in other fields. Taxis do not have educational requirements therefore this is very appealing for those who want to be positive contributers. Whilst alot of people are stating it’s healthy competition, you wouldn’t think the same if you couldn’t get the job you wanted because your name is “RASHID” or you have 3 kids and a wife who depend on your competitive salery!

  16. Neil King Reply

    Well that’s really scary. people saying CRB checks You don’t need an education to drive a hackney carriage. Well OK if that’s the case you should all pass the Arun district Hackney tests. Good luck. oh and the idiot who said about the CRB hey stupid its a DBS.

  17. Girl about town Reply

    The passenger was clearly from the get go trying to catch Rashid out on every account. I think it’s fair for anyone to make a living in anyway they wish. I have used Uber many times and welcome it in Brighton because it means more people will actually go out as getting an Uber will be cheaper. That’s good for our economy surely? I have also been planning on becoming an Uber driver myself as a self employed dancer it could bring in valuable income when I am out of work. Sorry the comment from Sue above???? the most ridiculous accusation I’ve heard. What makes you think it won’t be the other way round? I am female? also I am sure it’s been in the news numerous times that other cab drivers have assaulted passengers? that’s like saying because you’re foreign or black or gay or old or male. Some people!!! wow closed minded or what!!! Are you a cab driver lol

    • Uber louber Reply

      I am a female uber driver and I am glad you said this as I was thinking the same!

  18. Jules Reply

    Totally convinced me to continue to Uber in Brighton exclusively. Clearly trying to catch the driver out – what a dick! I know more about my Uber driver than my cabbie – totally traceable and there is direct feedback which has impact! No one gives a flying **** about the protectionist Luddite arguments being made by the cabbies except the cabbies.

    • Captainmarvel Reply

      Considering Brighton has the only green MP in the country,I find it hypocritical that people like yourself would rather jump in an Uber cab from London,Havant, Portsmouth,New Forest,Eastbourne,South Cambridgeshire to name but a few districts.
      Regarding market competition.Brighton & Hove council set the rates for taxis licensed within its borders & not the individual drivers.How are they supposed to compete?
      I’m sure you are aware that every time you take an Uber in Brighton you are effectively sending your money out of the local economy,creating greater traffic problems,creating greater emissions & for what? The cost is similar to a local cab anyway.

    • Gav Reply

      What a smart cookie you are!!!

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