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Uber drivers could soon face London geography and language tests as Boris sides with black-cab drivers

Sam Shead | June 26, 2015
Uber, the San Francisco-headquartered taxi app firm part owned by Google, came to the UK in June 2012 and could now be facing its first real difficulties in London.

Uber drivers should have to pass language and geography tests before starting work, according to mayor of London Boris Johnson.

He used his final State of London debate at City Hall this week to defend black-cab drivers who have been fighting losing business ever since the San Francisco car giant arrived in London in June 2012.

"It is not fair that a black-taxi driver has to spend four years getting the Knowledge and somebody else can just cruise in and take up the trade without really knowing how London works and how it all fits together," said Johnson.

"TfL (Transport for London) are currently consulting on a proper geographical test so you can't drive a minicab in London unless you know one end of the city from the other."

"We will do it in the same way we do for black cabs. It won't be like the Knowledge because I think it is important that the black cabs retain their distinctiveness."

The Knowledge is the name of the test given to black-cab drivers before they are given their taxi licence.

Black-cab drivers and passengers have argued that Uber drivers in London have a limited knowledge of London's streets, relying heavily on the the satellite navigation technologies to get from A to B.

 

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