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Taxi drivers protest against Uber in Blackpool

Blackpool Council is seeking legal advice to tackle the issue of out-of-town Uber taxi drivers from out of town operating in the resort without a local licence.

On Wednesday this week, disgruntled taxi drivers in Blackpool staged a road protest over Uber operators working in the area.

There are also concerns over loss of income, criminal background checks and the condition of the cars.

They are calling for Blackpool Council, which is the licensing authority for taxis in the resort, to take action over the situation.

The council says it is looking at measures to deal with the issue.

Colin Jones, a driver for Premier Cabs, said: “They are not licensed to operate here and they are taking work from us, which isn’t on.

“Some of them are even parking on the ranks, which they are not allowed to do.

“It isn’t about the cost of the fares, whether they are cheaper or not, it’s the principle of the thing.

“The rules we have to work with, in terms of CBR clearance and the condition of our cars, is stringent, to say the least. It’s about public safety.”

A Blackpool Council spokesman said: “Taxi operators have alerted us to instances of Uber drivers operating in Blackpool and their concerns around this. The safety of our residents and visitors is always our priority.

“Uber is not licensed by Blackpool Council currently. We are seeking legal opinion in relation to this matter, as we are conscious that the legal framework around taxi legislation is outdated and requires review.

“This is not a situation that is unique to Blackpool. We are speaking to the Local Government Association as well as our neighbouring authorities to ensure we deal with this robustly.”

Uber was approached but has not responded with a comment.

Uber provides ride-hailing services, food delivery, courier services and freight transport. Headquartered in San Francisco, California, it operates in around 70 countries and 10,500 cities worldwide.

Uber is said to be the largest ride-sharing company worldwide with more than 150 million monthly active users and six million active drivers and couriers.

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