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Uber responds to Brighton row: 'Our drivers go through the same background checks as taxi drivers'

Uber is awaiting a decision on whether it can operate in Brighton

The Uber mobile phone app allows customers or passengers to book a taxi from the firm and pay for it using their phone.

The drivers called partner-drivers are all self employed. According to its website Uber operates in 60 countries. It is already in use in London, Leeds, Manchester, Bristol and Birmingham and now it has applied for a licence in Brighton and Hove.

Brighton & Hove's city council has been given more time to make its decision. Local taxi drivers are concerned - they say that if Uber is granted a licence its drivers should be subject to the same rules and guidelines that they have to observe. Uber says it does abide by the rules.

The row centres around whether the increased competition for fares will be fair, whether background checks will be as stringent as for taxi drivers and whether Uber private hire drivers will have to / will be able to provide vehicles accessible for specific groups of the community, such as people who use wheelchairs.

“In the UK Uber is fully licensed and regulated and abides by all private hire legislation. All partner-drivers operating on the Uber platform are fully licensed private hire drivers and have been through enhanced DBS checks, the same background check taxi drivers go through. In the UK Uber’s model has been scrutinised by over 30 regulators and found to be compliant."

– Uber spokesman

Dangerous taxis and buses banned from roads

Sussex police are banning dangerous taxis, limo and buses while ferrying people in Brighton and Hove.

A joint operation between Sussex Police, Vehicle and Operator Services Agency and Hove City Council has seen 43 vehicles stopped in one day.

Some of the vehicles were in such a bad condition that they were immediately prevented from being used to carry passengers.

The vehicles were stopped from 7pm-11pm on Saturday, August 10.

Some of the stopped vehicles had broken headlights, damaged bodywork or were not carrying a driver's badge.

Chief Inspector Natalie Moloney said: "Every person who gets into a taxi or private hire vehicle should feel safe in the knowledge that they are not being put in danger. We will continue to work closely with other agencies to keep all road users as safe as possible."


Police renew taxi arson appeal

Police are renewing their appeal after a taxi compound inHavant, Hampshire was severely damaged.

The Andicars taxi compound in West Leigh hadseven vehicles that were burnt out last Friday morning at 2.45am.

It is believed that damaged was caused to the rear fence togain entry prior to the arson.

Kerry Loveless, Senior Investigating Officer,said: "This is a very serious incident which has caused in excess of£100,000 worth of damage.

"On this occasion no-one was injured as a result of theincident which is fortunate given the nature of the fire."

Suspicious fire at taxi compound

Police are investigating after several vehicles were severely damaged after a fire at Havant, Hampshire.

The Fire Service were alerted to the fire at 2.45am this morning and seven vehicles have been burnt out or severely damaged as a result of the blaze.

It is believed a hole was cut in fencing to gain entry to the compound sometime after 2am.

We are aware of previous reports of damage to Andicars vehicles and looking into the possibility that they may be connected to this most recent incident. At this stage we have no evidence to confirm they are linked."

– DSI Fiona Holland
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