Conservatives Welcome Council’s “Taxi App U-turn" opening the door to companies like Uber

Coventry Conservatives have welcomed the decision of Coventry City Council to grant an application for a new private hire operator in the city, following months of procrastination by the Labour controlled Council. 

Councillor Tim Mayer, a Conservative member of the Licensing & Regulatory Committee, recently called for Uber to be allowed to operate in the city, a move which was refused by the ruling Labour Group.

Today, the Licensing Committee has unanimously approved an application for a new private hire operators licence based on a system that is intended to accept all journey record bookings via an app.

This change in policy follows a campaign by leading local Labour leaders against app-based companies such as Uber competing in Coventry, despite significant demand from the public.

Commenting, Cllr Tim Mayer said: “What appears to be critical is that this decision has been made possible by the recent departure of the former Cabinet Member responsible, Cllr Jayne Innes, who was blocking progress in the taxi industry, and updated conditions to the private hires operator’s licence that now reflect an operator using mobile apps.

“This has opened the door to more companies like Uber and Ola being allowed to apply for a private hire operator’s licence in the city.

“I am really pleased that the ruling group have finally performed this welcome but embarrassing U-turn on their previously confused position. It is fantastic news that local consumers can now start to experience a seamless door-to-door journey just from the touch of a button.

“This is a good move that may encourage more people to leave their cars at home. It is great to see that Coventry is finally now showing we are open for business, giving residents greater choice, better value for money and giving enterprise a chance to flourish.”

Adding, Cllr Tim Sawdon, the Conservative Spokesman for City Services, said: “We must welcome advancements in technology and consumer choice. Companies providing services like this are transforming how we live and work, and the Council has for too long been in denial about this.

“I am delighted to see that Labour Councillors are yet again following the lead set by local Conservatives by embracing the digital age in the taxi trade – which is happening in cities around the world – with the advancements made by entrepreneurs."