Banned Uber is Bad News for London | Redbrick | University of Birmingham

Banned Uber is Bad News for London

Emily Youlton argues that banning Uber sets to fail more civilians in the city than it serves

Love it or hate it, Uber. There’s no denying that it is an essential for many students in Birmingham. Now that Transport for London is seeking to ban its operation, it has certainly put doubts in people’s minds as to the future of the company in the UK. 

What saddens me most about this issue is that once again the people who are unlikely to have used the service are the ones making the decision about it. I’m not naive to the fact that Uber has made some serious mistakes; big blundering errors but I think there is a better way to deal with this than to place a ban on business operation. The loss of this increasingly necessary service could really have a devastating effect on London for so many people. It seems as if the management of TfL are happy in the comfort of their large salaries whilst there are now a multitude of people facing the prospect of unemployment, something I believed we as nation were trying to prevent.

The reasonable pricing and convenience of ordering on the app makes it the perfect tool for young people

Here in Birmingham so many students rely on the private hire service to travel safely around the city. The clearly marked cars, number plate identification and all of the added security features included in the app mean it is the ultimate tool for getting home safely at night. It is easy to report issues, you can send your Uber details to a family member so that they can track your journey the entire way. But this vital service is now at risk, this service that suits the smaller pockets of students and new graduates, this service that makes many cities accessible to anyone of any economic background could be on its way out.

Maybe I seem to be championing it too much but I really do feel it is an unnecessary ban that really could have a detrimental effect for the less wealthy in the city

 It just seems an extreme move to completely ban this necessary service in London – not to mention a removal of a freedom of customers to choose! Our capital city is notoriously expensive and it’s about to get worse with the loss of Uber. t seems very authoritarian to just completely ban the operation of a company because they have done something wrong, I thought we were a nation who stood together and worked through issues rather than just stopping enterprise altogether, apparently not.

It came as no surprise that the Uber UK boss, Jo Bertram, has now resigned, though sources are saying that Bertram was planning on leaving around this time anyway but it does seem a little coincidental. Bertram has been responsible for the expansion of the company in the UK from a few hundred drivers to now a growing network of 50,000 showing its success and need in cities across the country. Her resignation has now led to Uber’s CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, flying to London to begin talks with TfL and try to save their license in the capital but it is likely to take months for this issue to be rectified, leaving many Londoners without this essential transport service.

So it seems that despite running a successful and innovative business that offers benefits to so many, Uber has been severely penalised as a result of a mistake. Once again London is trying to be rid of the millennials who can’t afford to flash the cash in a black cab. Let’s just hope Uber’s appeal is successful.

English Language Student. News and Comment Writer (@EmilyJYoulton)


10th October 2017 at 12:00 pm