It was significant that when Caroline Pidgeon spoke about the difficulties facing the black cab trade, never once did she mention the word “modernisation”. Boris Johnson explained yesterday at the London Assembly that technology was marching on. Over a million Londoners have the Uber app and that, combined with lower fares, is contributing to the demise of black cabs. some cabs have apps, all different. that is worse than useless.
The trade needs a black cab app. unique to them, in every cab.Only then can the black cab trade promote itself properly. They need some proper PR. then they would get more work.
The Mayor has to consider all Londoners, not just black cab drivers, with whom he made plain, he deeply sympathises. By refusing to do the same, Pidgeon is selling black cab drivers short. It would be more honest to acknowledge the progress of technology and help the black cab trade to move with the times.
Boris made it plain he intends to limit the number of minicabs and improve regulation. He is also taking Uber to court over the smart meter and hopefully there will be a verdict within a couple of months.
By adopting her present stance, Pidgeon may achieve short term popularity with cab drivers, but she is not helping them, nor is she considering the right of choice of the million passengers who are happy with the Uber app. If she really cared about the black cab trade, she would acknowledge the importance of modern technology. To pretend black cabs can survive as they are is misleading and unfair and many believe that the competition is good for the cab trade as a whole.