Economy

Uber faces stiff fee hike by London

Uber faces stiff fee hike by London”

Uber has previously said it backed the principle of large firms paying more.

The biggest minicab operators will be charged up to £2.9 million over five years, compared with £2,826 at present, as part of a new Transport for London (TfL) system aimed at regulating taxi and minicab companies based on the size of their operations.

The number of private hire drivers in London has nearly doubled to more than 116,000 from 65,000 in 2013/14, prompting TfL's decision to introduce higher fees for the bigger operators.

Transport for London said on Monday companies with more than 10,000 vehicles would pay £2.9mil (RM16.42mil) for a licence under a new multi-tiered system coming into force this week.

Following yesterday's announcement of the massive increase in London Private Hire licensing fees, the chauffeur industry has been reacting to TfL's announcement. The number of vehicles has increased from 50,000 to 88,000 over the same period.

"It is estimated that over the next five years enforcement costs alone will reach £30 million, up from a previous estimate of £4m", said TfL. The new licensing fee rates have the ability to devastate the London private hire taxi trade according to trade bodies.

The Licensed Private Hire Car Association has raised concerns that operators jobs are under threat, TfL has not published evidence to justify the increases and the fees are "disproportionate, random and irrational". The team plays a pivotal role in keeping Londoners safe. "To further support successful businesses, TfL has also included provision allowing operators in the largest three categories to pay fees in annual instalments".

However it appears that Taxify had sought to shortcut TfL's licensing process by acquiring an existing private hire vehicle (PHV) operator - an approach that clearly went down badly with the regulator. Close to half have 10 vehicles or fewer, with just five per cent of companies in charge of fleets of over 100 vehicles.

Safety of Londoners is TfL's top priority and the increased fees will help us fund additional compliance officers who do the crucial job of "cracking down on illegal and risky activity", Chapman added.



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