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Uber to blame for black cab school closure, says founder

Uber may be loved by its users, but it’s no so favoured amongst London’s black cab community.

The largest training school for London’s black cab drivers has announced plans to shutter operations forever.

Knowledge Point will close down next month thanks to increased competition from Uber.

The school teaches wannabe cabbies the ins and outs of the exhaustive ‘Knowledge’ test.

It’s a 150-year-old exam that acts as a prerequisite for taxi drivers who want to operate in Britain’s capital city.

But the traditional test will no longer be taught by Knowledge Point, as the firm revealed to the Financial Times today.

“We’re going to be brushed aside,” says Malcolm Linskey, Knowledge Point’s founder. “Demand has gone down since Uber arrived.”

Linskey adds: “Usually we have 350 students enrolling a year, last year it was 200.”

Uber first launched in London back in June 2012, and has seen tremendous growth in the city.

In response, black cab drivers have organised a number of protests, and regularly demand that London Mayor Boris Johnson crack down on the service.

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Unfortunately for cabbies, that prospect is looking unlikelier by the day.

Just last month, the UK’s High Court ruled that Uber is not breaking the law with its taxi service app.

Although headquartered in San Francisco, Uber currently has around 18,000 drivers in the capital, with one million users already signed up to the service.

Do you think cabbies need to get with the times, or is this the slow breakdown of a beloved tradition? Let us know in the comments.

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