After Always Stating That Their Drivers Can Work Anywhere, Uber Now Say They Can't...by Lee Ward


Uber have made a huge announcement on Valentine ’s Day, but I wonder just how heartfelt it truly is…

On the 14th of February 2018 Uber made the bold statement that they have changed where their drivers can work on its platform, this brought a great cheer from some, and a low moan from others.

An excerpt from Ubers newsletter states that;


They have chosen to Geo Fence areas of the UK, covering just about the whole of the UK in fact, but this Geo Fence is not exactly what both drivers and the authorities wanted.
It’s a half pregnant attempt to make it look like they have listened and acted, but have they really?

For years Uber’s defence of the question about drivers working remotely, or cross border, has always been this following go to statement as taken from the news article in regards to the failed license renewal in York.


So, the question has to be… Do Uber accept and agree that the drivers should not be working out of their licensing area, and if so, then why have they made the Geo Fence in such a way that they have?

Or, have their talks with local licensing authorities struck home, because the reason for this change is not that local drivers working on the Uber platform have demanded it, oh no, it’s because they have listened to the concerns of the local authorities..


Basically, the authorities are not happy with the amount of drivers working in their area from other licensing authorities, so how does this new change from Uber assist the local authority?

As you are aware by now, my local authority is Sheffield, let’s have a look at what the new Uber Geo Fence of Sheffield means as to who can work in Sheffield on the Uber platform shall we?

That magical Geo Fence that Uber have put around Yorkshire is what I would truly class as a half pregnant action…

And I will explain why.
They obviously have the technology to make a Geo Fence as they wish, they have obviously listened to what the authorities concerns are and they may have listened to what the drivers working in the area they are licensed have voiced their concerns about (Uber drivers do complain to Uber about other drivers licensed elsewhere working predominantly in their area) but why make the Geo Fence so large? Surely Uber know that people will see through this, or do they think most people have the brains of rat?

Let’s step out of the national change that Uber have brought about and look to London, where Uber have stated that their vehicles, owned and paid for by the drivers, are going to be either electric or hybrid by 2020 which happens to fall into the latest Policy Statement by TfL, perhaps one of the agreements in those cosy meetings that the two have had. But let’s not take away the fact that it is not Uber who are paying for these cleaner vehicles, the drivers are. This makes the statement by Uber an easy statement to make when it is not costing them a penny, or dime, or Euro Cent depending on how you look at it.

But, to be perfectly honest the rest of the Policy Statement by TfL and the Mayor leaves you legitimate Private Hire companies and London’s Finest in a spot of bother, actually you guys are in a quagmire and it’s sucking you under. Everything in that Statement is towards the Uber platform and the Data that it can deliver, Data is king, remember that.

So, I just did a U turn and headed back up North and I find that the situation here is not as drastic as it is down South, but it’s equally as worrying.
Uber have reduced where drivers can work dependant on where they are licensed, well that’s a start, but it is nowhere near what the trade requires. And, I will give a shout out to the drivers who have swallowed the Uber dream, gone to where Uber suggested and got their license and bought a vehicle to match, what about them?

Well, Uber are doing them another favour, they are going to pay them £1000 to swap their licensing authority to continue to work in the area that they work and then not take a commission for the first 250 jobs that they complete, so around another £350 or so on top of the £1000

That’s pretty impressive for a company that has always stated that the driver can work anywhere, isn’t it?

I can see why they lost $4.7 Billion last year…
Now let’s do something different for a change, let’s talk sense.

The authorities don’t like cross border hiring, the drivers don’t like cross border hiring and Uber agree that no one likes cross border hiring, even in the half pregnant way that they have addressed this issue, but it seems that no one likes cross border hiring..

Why are the Government dragging their feet over the issue then? Surely it can’t be to protect a company that pays virtually no TAX or VAT into the economy is it, because after Brexit I would guess we need every penny that’s owed to us…maybe I am wrong, ask the NHS.

The fact of all of this smoke and mirrors is simple, they want to appease the decision makers but are doing it in such a way that they are actually slapping them in the face and laughing as they walk away.

What happens to the areas that have licensed these drivers that can no longer work where they live, will they welcome them back with open arms and allow the local area to be flooded?

Will the areas that have been sign posted by Uber for the driver to go and get licensed accept the application and not give thought to where the driver will work, not expecting Uber or hopefully regulation to close the borders even further which would again cause an influx of drivers trying to feed their family in an area that cannot sustain them simply because that drivers options were reduced?

Uber have taken the first step, and now it’s time for the authorities to take the next and think carefully of who they give a license too and why.



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