Taxi driver protest backfires as Uber sees 850 per cent member increase

A protest by London taxi drivers yesterday (June 11) backfired, as the service it was protesting against actually saw its number of members rise by 850 per cent.

According to, 12,000 black cab drivers took part in demonstrations in London at 12pm yesterday. They aimed to disrupt the capital’s roads, but they actually ended up aiding their competitor.

Jo Bertram, Uber’s UK and Ireland general managers, says the huge surge in members just shows the capital wants the firm to stay.

“Londoners are voting with their fingers, tapping the app in support of new and innovative services as we see our biggest day of sign ups in London today since launch two years ago,” she explains. “We passed Transport for London’s (TfL) most stringent and comprehensive audit of a private hire vehicle operator to date, passing with flying colours.”

Despite this, the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) argues that Uber is causing Londoners to contact drivers that are unlicensed and the app is unregulated. It adds that the app is very similar to a taxi meter, something which only black cab drivers are allowed to use in London, reports

Ian Beetlestone, leader of the Rail and Maritime Transport union (RMT), says the drivers aren’t against competition, they just want to highlight the fact they have to go through a strict process to be regulated, so Uber should have to do the same.