IEA: TfL’s effective ban on Uber represents a “dark day” for consumers and drivers


Government and Institutions

IEA spokespeople respond to the Conservative Party's 'Brexit roadmap'

Commenting on Transport for London’s decision not to expand Uber’s licence, Director of Trade and Competition at the Institute of Economic Affairs Shanker Singham said:

“Transport for London’s effective ban on Uber in London represents a dark day for competition and progress in the UK.

“Uber – and other platforms like it – give consumers real alternatives to the monopoly enjoyed by London’s black cab industry.  As with any regulatory crackdown on new entrants, this action will harm London’s consumers, particularly damaging the least-well-off who cannot afford the high cost of black cabs.

“As well, this move will destroy working opportunities for thousands of people, including many immigrants and ethnic minorities. As well, safety aspects of the app – like being able to track and share your ride and having the drivers details on your phone – will be sorely missed by more vulnerable groups, who might feel more at risk waiting on a dark kerb for a ride in the middle of the night.

“The cab industry and ride-sharing apps operate in two different regulatory models, which can sit alongside each other and serve different needs. Black cabs should look at government regulations that artificially increase their costs, instead of blocking much needed competition in this sector.

“Unfortunately TfL has opted for the most protectionist approach possible, banning a major mode of transport that has dramatically improved many Londoners’ standard of living.”

Notes to editors:

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The mission of the Institute of Economic Affairs is to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.

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