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London taxis planning road-block protests over car service app Uber

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Uber is taking parts of the world by storm, it offerers a private car service to users of its app, and of course the licensed cabbies of London are up in arms about it, so a protest is planned.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association says that 1000s of licensed cab drivers will take part in the protest, which could bring gridlock to London's roads.

The core of the dispute is that the LTDA claims Uber cars are not entitled to be fitted with equipment to determine a fare. It says that only licensed cabs can have a taximeter, which it claims the Uber app essentially is.

Transport for London doesn't agree, and has refused to get involved.

Uber, if you haven't used it, is an app with which you must pre-register. You enter credit card details in advance, then, when you want a cab it uses GPS to locate you, and gives you a final price to get to your destination.

You need hand over no cash to the driver, and a tip is factored into the price. Uber keeps about 20 per cent of the drivers fee. Drivers are background checked too, and the app sends you a photo of your driver so you can confirm they are the right person.

We've used the service to get out of London and into the sticks later at night, and it is far more affordable than a black cab. This has obviously enraged London's black cab drivers.

Uber is no stranger to controversy, and has already faced legal challenges in Paris, Sydney and is banned in Brussels.

The LTDA described it as "not some philanthropic friendly society, its an American monster" which "has no qualms about breaching any and all laws in the pursuit of profit". This is in stark contrast to black cabs, which never take you the long way around, or make a profit in any way, obviously.

Uber is backed by Google and Goldman Sachs and has been operating for five years now in San Francisco, where it was set up to provide taxis to people in a city where there are literally no taxis anywhere to be seen.

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Via: BBC News

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