Pre-booked cars pulling further ahead of hailed cabs in the East Riding

The Local Government Association is calling for new powers to help councils regulate the taxi industry following the rise of ride-hailing apps.
The Local Government Association is calling for new powers to help councils regulate the taxi industry following the rise of ride-hailing apps.

As apps like Uber shake up the taxi industry, new figures show that pre-booked cars are pulling further ahead of traditional hailed cabs in the East Riding.

The Local Government Association is calling for new powers to help councils regulate the taxi industry following the rise of ride-hailing apps, to ensure taxi drivers are protected.

There are two main kinds of licensed vehicles in the trade – traditional taxis, which can be hailed from the street, and private hire vehicles, which need to be pre-booked.

Department for Transport figures show private hire vehicles, also known as minicabs, accounted for 63% of hireable vehicles in the East Riding in March – up from 61% a decade before.

Uber, and other companies that provide mobile ride-hailing services, have become increasingly popular in recent years – their drivers require private hire licences.

Simon Blackburn, chairman of the LGA’s safer and stronger communities board, said councils have long called for an overhaul of taxi laws “in an era when mobile phone technology is significantly changing the way people access private hire vehicles”.

A recent study commissioned by the Government also found the rise of ride-hailing apps has led to more minicab drivers working entirely outside their licensed area, known as cross-border hiring.

The report’s recommendations included making taxis and minicabs start or finish their journeys within their licensed area, to make their activity easier to regulate, and introducing new safety measures.