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Uber to offer partnership with black cab drivers in London | UK News

People in London will be able to order black cabs through Uber from early next year, the company has announced.

A spokesman for the firm said a “small number” of taxi drivers have already signed up to the service and it hopes to recruit “several hundred” by January.

Senior figures in the black cab industry have frequently expressed concerns over the growth of Uber, which has traditionally offered minicab journeys.

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), which represents taxi drivers, claimed there is “no demand” from passengers for a partnership, and accused Uber of attempting to use black cabs to “reinvigorate their ailing business model”.

People who book a taxi through the app will be shown an estimated price but will be charged the fare on the meter plus a £2 booking fee retained by Uber.

Uber said it will not charge new drivers commission for their first six months but didn’t reveal what the fee would be after that period.

Uber’s UK general manager, Andrew Brem, said: “We’re partnering with taxi drivers across the world and the message we are hearing from them is clear: Uber and taxis are better together.

“Black cabs are an iconic part of the capital, loved by Londoners and visitors alike, and we are proud to work side by side.

“Partnership is win-win-win: helping London cab drivers earn more, boosting travel options for passengers, and making London’s transport network more efficient.”

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Uber said taxi drivers in Paris, New York, Rome and other major cities in 33 countries already provide journeys booked through its app.

Mr McNamara said: “There is no demand for this partnership from the London licensed taxi drivers we represent or our passengers.

“We are not aware of any drivers having been recruited and don’t believe our members will even consider joining the app, given its well-documented poor record on everything from passenger safety to workers’ rights in London.”

He said taxis can already be booked through a range of apps such as Gett, TaxiApp, FreeNow and ComCab.

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