19th Nov, 2018

LETTERS to the editor: Taxi firm Uber 'exploits legal loophole', says Coventry councillor

Editorial Correspondent 29th Sep, 2017 Updated: 29th Sep, 2017

LETTERS

Your readers will have seen the current controversy over Uber taxis playing out in the media, following the decision by TfL (Transport for London) not to renew Uber’s license to operate in London.

I write to let your readers know about the situation regarding Uber taxis here in Coventry.

Uber is not licensed to provide taxi services in Coventry. Uber has never applied to Coventry City Council for a license to operate.

I have no way of knowing the reasons behind Uber’s decision not to apply for a license here, but it is worth stating that Coventry City Council sets taxi operators a higher bar than most other licensing authorities.

In order to be licensed in Coventry taxi drivers need to:

Have Child Sexual Exploitation awareness training

Have disability awareness training

Have good levels of English skills

Pass a knowledge test of Coventry’s roads

Submit their vehicle to tests every 6 months

(Obviously they also need to be DBS cleared)

Currently there are Uber cabs operating in Coventry – but they are registered elsewhere, often Wolverhampton, where the bar for licensing taxis is lower.

In this way Uber is exploiting a loophole in the law. I, as Cabinet Member with responsibility for taxis, call on Government to tighten the law to stop this. It’s crucial local authorities take back control of taxis operating in their area.

I’m also calling on other local authorities to bring an end to licensing taxis for people who are resident in Coventry. It is not credible that Coventry-based taxi drivers want to drive 35miles (taking 50mins or more) to Wolverhampton to work. I have written to Wolverhampton City Council, asking that they end this practise.

Coventry City Council continues to do all we can to ensure we provide safe professional taxis for local people. By choosing a Coventry-licensed taxi you continue to benefit from this.

Councillor Jayne Innes

Cabinet Member for City Services

Whoberley Ward Councillor

 

At last, the removal of those bus lanes across our city. Well… ok, a temporary suspension. I welcome this proposal but perhaps we should consider some of the bigger travel issues that are influencing bus lane removal and general traffic movement. I’ve been a Coventry resident for over 37 years and this city has certainly changed. Much of our factory manufacturing past has now gone, and much industrial land has become housing development. Housing development may be celebrated by some, but the result is more of us commute in to, out of or across Coventry by Car. I’m a Public transport user and casual cyclist, but the reality is the car is needed in Coventry.

With the Department of Transport suggesting that Coventry has the fastest rising levels of congestion in the country, it seems sensible to consider the possibility of major new roads to reduce this problem. I would like to see a new southern highway (relief road) provided in (under) south Coventry. Yes, I realise I am suggesting we eat into Warwickshire Greenbelt, but surely this is now needed to ensure the consistent traffic delays encountered by those driving round the southern part of our city are reduced. Readers who negotiate the A45/Tile Hill/Canley/Cannon Park areas of Coventry will be aware of how busy these areas are and how the removal of a section of the bus lane in Sir Henry Parks Rd helped the traffic queues (slightly), but the bigger problems of too much traffic heading into or out of the A45 or those seeking to use Gibbet Hill Road for the A46 have not been resolved. I am sure Warwick University will seek to eventually close off Gibbet Hill Road once a new road is built (possibly adjacent to HS2?) and I will be watching the A46 Stoneleigh link development and Phase 2/3 proposals with interest.

Mark Taylor

Coventry

 

Prince Harry was absolutely right to launch the Invictus Games, a multi-sports event for disabled Armed Services personnel and veterans to help them to recover, and “demonstrate life beyond disability”.

I was also pleased to hear at a recent Army event in Coventry that special attention is given being given to help former Service personnel to adjust to civilian life.

I am myself disabled as a long-term result of my Foreign Service time in Africa, but many of the participants in the Games are far more badly affected, having been, for example, hurt by explosive devices

We are fortunate to have such brave men and women prepared to risk all to protect us. “Invictus” means undefeated. That describes them well, and we should all respect their determination to make the best of their lives.

Councillor David Skinner (Conservative)

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