Uber has been driving the fiery French cab trade into a frenzy recently, mucking about with regulations and nicking business from under the noses of the regular cab trade. To make matters worse, the French people back Uber, because the French regular cab is not like ours, it is sluggish, inefficient and disorganised. Volatile French drivers have been blocking the roads to the airports and stations with cars and burning tires. Six Uber drivers have been attacked. At one stage, there were 200 French police in action on the streets.British black cab drivers have also staged demos. There has been sincere and passionate feeling. But there has been no violence. However mouthy the militant black cab drivers are here, and British swearing beats the French, they are too fairminded to go that far.History shows the French don’t like suffering in silence. Their protests against “unfair competition” have been physical and loud. Uber Pop allows non-professional drivers to accept bookings from an app. There are serious safety and financial issues, and UberPop is being banned all over the world, only to cheekily reappear on the streets, backed by an immediate legal challenge.
Now at last, it seems that Uber are beginning to accept that maybe they are going too far. In “a spirit of appeasement” they are suspending UberPop and there will be no immediate legal challenge.
Mayor Boris Johnson has quite enough trouble dealing with the Uber challenge in London, waiting for the High Court verdict on the smartphone,while performing a delicate balancing act between opposing interests on the streets. The last thing we need is Uber Pop in London before the many issues regarding Uber minicabs are sorted here.
City AM reported today: “Two Uber executives, Thibaud Simphal and general manager for Western Europe Pierre-Dimitry Gore-Coty, are to stand trial over the service later this summer. ” Uber has been hugely pushing its luck. They have been taking legal exploitation to the max. A fairer and less aggressive approach from Uber in future would definitely be a step in the right direction.
Update: Toronto judge rules city cannot shut down Uber unless they change the laws.