Uber fightback

Crawley taxi drivers demand fair deal in protest against Uber and Gatwick Airport

Reading time: 2 min

Unite mobilised a significant protest outside a full Crawley council meeting last week to demand councillors do more to enforce licensing laws against Uber, which is destroying the livelihoods of private hire taxis in the area.

Crawley taxi drivers, Unite members, were out in full force on Friday (May 24) to call on the council to stop Uber from circumventing licensing laws. At present, Uber has an unfair advantage because private hire taxis cannot pick up fares outside of their licensing areas unless they have been pre-booked.  

This has led to Uber cars, which are registered in London, poaching business from private hire taxis in Crawley, which are especially dependent on fares from Gatwick. Anger was further stoked after Gatwick Airport began advertising Uber services and established Uber-reserved bays at the airport.

Unite regional officer Dominic Rothwell said, “Gatwick airport should not be hand in glove with a race to the bottom employer like Uber. Our members are fighting back against the airport and Uber but Crawley council’s lack of action in enforcing its own taxi licensing rules is leaving them at an unfair disadvantage.”

You can view highlights from the protest in photos below:

Photos by Lukas Antczak