Taxi business quits Brighton and Hove

A taxi business has pulled out of Brighton and Hove before it even took its first booking.

Ola – a “ride-hailing app” considered a rival to Uber – was granted an operator’s licence for one year in May last year by Brighton and Hove City Council.

But the Indian firm, which already operates in Merseyside, Reading, South Wales, the South West and the West Midlands, has told the council that it now has no plans to operate in Brighton.

Ola UK Private director Karl Lutzow, 41, made the case for the newcomer at a council licensing panel hearing.

And the company even took an office in Queen’s Road, Brighton.

But Labour councillor Jackie O’Quinn, who chairs the council’s Licensing Committee, said: “The market is too full.”

She said that Brighton and Hove was “overwhelmed” with drivers from Lewes which has had the highest increase in applications in the whole country.

Councillor O’Quinn added: “They are all Ubers because it’s easier to get a Lewes licence.”

In Brighton and Hove all licensed drivers must follow the council’s stringent regulations – known as the Blue Book – when operating as a taxi or private hire driver.

One of the conditions that Councillor O’Quinn pushed for was to ensure that all Ola drivers were licensed in Brighton and Hove.

She also insisted on tight restriction to prevent Ola drivers from outside Brighton and Hove picking up fares and competing unfairly with local drivers.

Ola was approached for comment.

  1. xxxxxxx Reply

    I wish the media would learn the difference between a Taxi and a PHV

    • Marc Rashbrook Reply

      I wish the public would too!

  2. Last of the Mohicans Reply

    They’re paid £££s to merge the lines between the two and purposely confuse the sheeple.

    Dont think it’s done by accident. TV, radio and press are all at the back and call of our masters.

  3. Last of the Mohicans Reply

    #typo 🤦‍♂️

  4. David Reply

    Haha I don’t think many people know or care about the difference. When they want a cab, they want a cab. Usually as soon as!

  5. Jason Reply

    What about stopping companies such as Deliveroo and Just Eat from employing staff to deliver food without driving licenses!!?? It’s a matter of life or death.
    It is entirely wrong to allow learner drivers to carry out work on a provisional licenses before they have legally passed their test – something MUST be done before someone dies! It can only be in place to allow these companies to make the extortionate profits they do by employing low-skilled staff and making our streets less safe! The drivers are utterly dangerous to themselves, to other pedestrians and other drivers. Something must be done about this… The simple solution would be to force companies that provide delivery service that staff delivering this service MUST have a full driving license.

  6. Riaz Reply

    The government is only interested in the unemployment figures gone down
    Doesn’t matter how
    Uber is screwing the system from left right and centre
    At the same time deliveroo and the other companies are doing the same

  7. Dan Reply

    Jason, it’s a national problem, and MPs and ministers need to act, but it’s most noticeable in places like Brighton. It’s a bit unfair to blame the licensing committee. And I would be impressed if the local police actually enforced traffic laws against cabbies, bus drivers and delivery drivers and riders. This place is coated in CCTV cameras. It shouldn’t be that hard to tackle the epidemic of dangerous driving.

  8. Dan Reply

    And re Uber, I have no beef necessarily with Uber drivers as individuals, just with a business model that aims to undercut the prices that support a living wage, and once the competition’s wiped out, drivers terms and conditions will get worse and prices for passengers will rise. It’s basically unfair competition dressed up as disruptive or innovative technology.

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