Search

Black cab drivers cannot be allowed to stand in the way of innovation says IOD boss

18:43 12 June 2014

Black cab and licensed taxi drivers protest on The Mall, London over the introduction of a phone app called Uber which allows customers to book and track vehicles. Photo credit  Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Black cab and licensed taxi drivers protest on The Mall, London over the introduction of a phone app called Uber which allows customers to book and track vehicles. Photo credit Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Black cab drivers “cannot be allowed to stand in the way of innovation” according to Institute of Directors director general

Taxi drivers converged on Trafalgar Square in their vehicles on Wednesday to stage a major protest over a mobile phone app for booking private journeys in and around London.

Black cab and licensed taxi drivers were on a go-slow protest in the centre of the capital to show their opposition to Uber, a new app that allows customers to book and track vehicles.

Unions and groups representing taxi drivers have warned that the move is leading to unlicensed drivers being contacted, with no checks on whether they are legitimate.

Protesters in Trafalgar Square chanted “Boris, Boris, Boris, out, out, out”, while taxi drivers beeped their horns as demonstrators held placards.

But Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors, said cab drivers needed to move with the times.

“Black cabs have been a symbol of London for many decades, known across the world. But symbols, no matter how iconic, cannot be allowed to stand in the way of innovation,” he said. “Uber and its rival apps are an example of the positive disruption new technology brings, offering consumers new choices about how to travel.

“The cab drivers protesting this week will not be able to prevent technological innovation any more than the machine-breakers of the 19th century could stop the spread of the power loom. Even if the High Court finds the taxi apps in technical breach of the rules, this will not be the end of the matter. The law must, and will, change to allow us to secure all of the undoubted gains that digital technology can bring.

“The battle over taxi apps gets to the heart of what creative destruction means. As a nation, we have to decide whether we want to open ourselves up to more choice and competition, or protect existing industries at the expense of consumers.”

David Sales, Regional Chairman across the East of England said: “Many companies in the East of England are doing the same as Uber, creating new apps and new technologies that will rewrite and challenge existing industries in the UK and across the world. They are creating our industries of the future and we applaud them.”

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Insight

J&S Jewellery was launched three years ago by sisters Jenny and Sophie Laslett and is now turning over £1M a year. Photo : Steve Adams

When launching a jewellery business in late 2012, sisters Jenny and Sophie Laslett used some borrowed money and a spare room. After ordering a small batch from a manufacturer in the Far East, their only customers the first Christmas were friends and family.

Justice Secretary Liz Truss arrives in Downing Street, London, for the first Cabinet meeting of the new government. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 19, 2016. See PA story POLITICS Cabinet. Picture: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

It is always challenging to take on a job in an industry in which you have no experience, looking to learn on the job while leading.

Green 100

cover

Enjoy the Green 100
digital edition

Read

Mustard TV

Meet the Team

Mark Shields

Business Editor

|

Chris Hill

Agricultural and Farming Editor

|

Shaun Lowthorpe

Business Publishing Editor

|

Sabah Meddings

Business Writer

|

Duncan Abel

Business Development Manager

Business Most Read

Awards

Norfolk Future 50 EDP Business Awards Green 100

Business Most Commented

Newsletter Sign Up