Uber drivers in London divided over ban threat


LONDON: The value of Uber operating in the city has been questioned in recent weeks, after Transport for London (TfL) announced last month it would not be renewing the company’s licence.

The way the firm reports serious criminal offences and obtains criminal record checks for its driver contributed to the decision, which will affect around 40,000 drivers and 3.5 million customers in London.

Adam, who fears he will have to start again if Uber loses its appeal, said the ruling was “unfair” and described the app as “the safest transportation” in the city.

Another driver, Aphrem Andebrhan, said he does not share the same worries over TfL’s decision. “If Uber goes, another Uber is going to come. They cannot stop the technology; this is progress,” said the 46-year-old, who became a driver in December.

Andebrhan has no intention of returning to his former job in a warehouse, finding Uber more compatible with caring for his children.

“If my wife works in the morning, I come pick them up, and drive them to school,” he said.

As a self-employed worker, he sets aside £100 a week to cover any sickness or holidays he takes. “Here you can make roughly £15 an hour, take away £5 expenses, you get £10 an hour,” he said of his finances, critical of other drivers who have called on Uber to pay them the minimum wage. “Flexibility. That’s why I’m an Uber driver. Minimum wage… Are you joking?”