Cab drivers cause traffic jams in Uber protest

13 June 2014

uber Uber, the app that lets you call a private hire cab using your smartphone, isn’t exactly popular with the licenced cab drivers in the world.

And this week, thousands of taxi drivers all over Europe have been honking their displeasure about it on the streets of London, Berlin, Paris and Madrid, causing traffic jams and generally getting in everyone’s way.

They say that black cabs are being undermined by the service, which in some cities only allows users to call private hire taxis. And lots of already-stretched cabbies are seeing red.

In Madrid, taxi drivers ditched their cabs and marched up and down yelling ‘UBER ILLEGAL!’ while blowing whistles. In Italy, they shouted ‘Illegality Rules Soverign! Shame!’ In London, 5000 taxis idled their engines around Trafalgar Square.

Jose Antonio Benitez, a cabbie in Madrid said: ‘It’s unfair competition. The government says they want a free market, but one that only hurts taxi drivers.’

Uber, which is based in San Francisco, responded by using the protests to offer discounted cabs. (CHEEKY.) They have also derailed the protests somewhat, by rolling out a feature in London that gives the option to hail black cabs, with a small commission fee added on. But more go-slow demonstrations may still be planned in London.

Bloody apps, coming over here and stealing our trade. String ‘em up – it’s the only language they understand.

TOPICS:   Technology   Travel   Mobile


  • jim
    well maybe they should launch their own app - or stop charging the earth or driving like they own the road?
  • Mark W.
    ...and so why don't black cab drivers simply sign up to Uber? Best of both worlds?
  • Billybobjimbob
    Boo hoo, poor struggling cabbies. On holiday last year I met a London cabbie who only worked nights, and only for half the year. He spent the other half at his villa in Portugal.
  • Jack S.
    "only worked nights" in London?! He probably deserves the George medal as well!
  • shakesheadsadly
    I'd never heard of Uber before all these protests. Now, I'll be sure to use them next time in london! Cabbies. Ever heard of the Streisand effect?

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