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Uber angst

TFL’s decision not to renew Uber’s license has (like so much else) polarised social media.  Paul Mason is pleased:

but some are bemoaning what they see as a distortion of the free market.

And many Londoners are simply concerned at the prospect of losing a cheap and convenient service.  Fleet Street Fox seems unnecessarily dismissive of their regrets here.

Of course not all drivers will agree with this anonymous writer who welcomes the sanctions against Uber.

at first you could make a good living. But then Uber slashed prices to attract customers, and began recruiting on a massive scale to keep up with demand. Not only did we end up with more drivers working longer hours, for worse pay, but some of those drivers should never have been behind the wheel.

And by introducing some competition, as Ed Vaizey pointed out on the Today programme, Uber seems to have forced black cabs to improve and modernise their service.

However I agree with Wes Streeting, also interviewed this morning on Today. Just because a service is popular doesn’t mean that it should be allowed to flout regulations.  The emphasis in this recent decision has been on safety issues but there are also problems relating to drivers’ pay and conditions.