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Video: London cabbies, Über alles

11 June 2014

6:45 PM

11 June 2014

6:45 PM

What’s upsetting London cabbies? Is it really that Transport for London aren’t fairly implementing the special privileges awarded to Hackney Carriages, or are they simply against a bit of healthy competition? According to some, it’s all Goldman Sachs’ fault, but can the iconic London taxi stem the tide of technological change forever?

We sent The Spectator’s intrepid Harry Cole down to the frontline of Wednesday’s London taxi protests, conveniently located outside of 22 Old Queen Street, to find out more.

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Show comments
  • poran

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  • bita

    Our mistake is getting in the middle of it by mistakenly trying to help
    out and keep an artificial peace when they have to work it out for
    کارشناسی ارشد بدون کنکور دستگاه حضور و غیابupvc پنجره

  • shiva

    Preferably somewhere north of Sutton Coalfield as we are full up down South.
    کرکره برقیخرید و فروش خودرونمایندگی ایران خودرو

  • shiva

    There is plenty of empty space in the deserts of Arabia. Sutton Coalfield is cold and not Kosher, full of Kafirs.
    درب اتوماتیکköpek mamasıköpek cinsleri

  • fitz fitzgerald

    Before you get into your cab, ask perkily ” are you from Uber “? The driver will be delighted to share the joke, especially when you decline to get in.

  • mandelson

    Sieg hail-a-cab!

  • HookesLaw

    Whether the cabbies tactics are right or not is maybe up for discussion. However is not the ‘issue’, as wedgewood-benn would say, one of are the minicabs and their apps breaking the law and effectively touring for business which is the prerogative of the licenced black cab?

    • Count Dooku

      And why should the law give black cabs a monopoly?

  • you_kid

    It appears that yet another private American corporate provider has just gained the upper hand in a one-sided attempt to deregulate a ‘stagnant’ market. What could the outcome of that possibly be?

    1- an increased ‘race to the bottom’ competition will lead to a reduction of
    (self-employed) cabbies on the roads in favour of corporatisation of the market.
    2- prices will go up without evidence of rising standards given UBER’s peak time pricing strategy. Ergo, profits will rise. What will the corporate profit share be?
    3- competition will of course NOT increase as the one-against-all model in place now IS already ‘competition max’.
    4- demand will be levelled out to serve only those who can afford peak time fares during peak hours. Those who cannot afford peak time fares will find themselves travelling off peak only.

    I will leave it to those with an opinion to decide whether or not that’s a good thing.
    Trolls are of course as always, trolls.

    • Alex

      1. So?
      2. No evidence that prices would rise overall; why would they? There is still competition. Peak time pricing is sensible (as used by airlines, trains, coaches, hotels, cinemas, theatres, etc etc etc).
      3. You are confusing competition within existing models with competition through innovation
      4. See 2.

  • Makroon

    London’s cabs provide a comfortable ride, the cabbies, in general, are polite, know their city, are disciplined and fairly restrained – compare and contrast with the “service” provided in large US cities.
    It isn’t “healthy competition”, it’s just another example of huge American cyber-juggernauts rolling up the competition and establishing yet another oppressive monopoly.
    Of course London cab companies need to get with the technology, but let’s not pretend Uber is just a benign competitor.

    • Stu H

      well said Makroon

      a true story from a very lucky dutch lady

      lady books a minicab (could be uber) at canary wharf and tells the driver she needs to get to city airport ASAP as he has already late to pick her up.

      he asks her for the postcode she says she doesn’t know

      he runs thro airports on his satnav heathrow, gatwick, stanstead

      no city airport on his satnav,

      so tells her to get out the cab

      luckly she manages to hail a black cab in no time and narrowly makes it to city airport for her flight back to holland

      • Alex

        Wow, one anecdote; well that proves it then. Or not.

        • Stu H

          Had a fare yesterday, islington to west hampstead

          i knew the best route but always looking for better and cheaper for the passenger so gave the google satnav for better.

          Google gave me a route that formed a u shape taking me along euston rd.

          I decided against it went with my own which was pretty much a straight line as london cabbies are taught doing the average 3 year knowledge.

          My 23 min route beat The 33 min route Google came up with

          The fare cost 17 pound, which probably would have cost more than 25quid the google way

          • dalai guevara

            Absolutely correct, everyone knows satnavs work according to how you configure the presets.

        • Stu H

          Lady got in the other day, told me how she use to use mini-cabs but got fed up with the drivers trying to flirt with her all the time.

          Was a little shocked to hear addison lee were at it too.

          Told me she’d never had that problem with black cabs

        • Stu H

          Job to savoy hotel in the saturday rush hour from south kensington.

          Traffic was horrendous around trafalgar sq so took them to back entrance on savoy place

          Would a sat nav or minicab know about this. No he’d still be sitting in a jam on the mall

        • Stu H

          How many you want? I got loads

    • Alex

      Name an American company that has a monopoly. Never mind an ‘oppressive’ one (whatever that means).

      • Makroon

        Cyber-kiddies, can’t really be taken seriously.

        • Alex

          QED, I think.

    • Stu H

      Cabbies were the first to use and embrace the app technology

      There were 14000 drivers using hailo the black cab app

    • Nigel Korwin-Mikke

      True, Taxis in NY are AWFUL!

  • Gareth David

    Hahaha… lets tell the world Uber is better than us and we don’t like it, that’s whats happening here!

  • bugshead

    This is totally hilarious, it’s the coalminers all over again.

    It is even more funny that the black cab drivers have shot themselves so massively into their size 14 feet, with the enormous publicity that they are giving Uber today.

    Duuuuhh !

  • Stuck-Record

    This is hilarious.
    The lady (small business capitalist) complaining about capitalism is like something from Brass Eye.

  • JabbaTheCat

    Lolz…cabbies helpfully applying the Streisand effect for Uber. Black cabs, game over…

  • Newcombe

    We need a full time TV news channel for the Right to rival the BBC. I’ve seen Telegraph do some good studio work that they put on their comments sections. Maybe you guys can join together and set something up.