At the London Assembly today,Boris Johnson did the kindest thing he could do. He told a conference hall full of black cab drivers the truth and he didn’t sugarcoat it.Boris intends to limit the number of minicabs in the capital. He “sees no reason” why he should meet with Uber so will go ahead with seeking legislation to do this anyway. There is too much congestion, pollution,and illegal parking in this city. Boris would like to see quantity licencing.
He will seek legislation to ban pedicabs in the capital in their present form.
The court case regarding the smartphone that Boris believes is a meter is in progress. Boris hopes that a decision will be passed down in a couple of months. But even if TfL wins, Boris said modern technology means it will be replaced with something that is legal.
He is certainly prepared to look at the questions raised by Caroline Pidgeon regarding broken regulations. But it requires proper evidence to ban Uber, not just hearsay. Sufficient evidence must be provided for a case to ban Uber to succeed and they must be banned by the High Court. Boris has been advised he alone cannot ban Uber, they would immediately sue and win the case.
A million customers and counting have the free Uber app. There has been a sea change in consumer preference. In a free market, it is right to support consumer choice, and technology is marching on. Boris Johnson obviously did not enjoy laying the truth on the line to a roomful of understandably upset black cab drivers, but the fairest thing was to level with them, even though it was not what his audience wanted to hear.
Webcam of Mayor’s Question Time here. It is quite clear on the webcam that Boris says repeatedly he intends to take action on the lack of regulation of Uber.