Blacklane Wohltorf

Blacklane launches chauffeur hailing service in 21 cities worldwide this month

By Mark Bursa | 1 March 2021, 16:58

Blacklane is launching a ‘chauffeur hailing’ service in 21 cities across 11 countries this month, allowing customers to book an executive car on demand in real time. New York is the first city, launched on March 1, with London the second to go live on Tuesday, March 2. In London, on-demand cars expected to be…

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wolverhampton covid grant

Wolverhampton council offers £2,000 one-off Covid-19 grants to drivers – providing they live in the city

By Mark Bursa | 26 February 2021, 08:48

Wolverhampton taxi and private hire drivers who have been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic can apply for a £2,000 grant, the local council has announced. The Additional Restriction Grant – Taxi and Private Hire Grant scheme is designed to help drivers who live in the city with a one-off payment of £2,000. It will…

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Mark Butterfield Berkeley

Prestige chauffeur firm Berkley Executive closes as Covid-19 kills off entertainment and corporate work

By Mark Bursa | 23 February 2021, 17:27

High-end chauffeuring firm Berkley Executive, the company backed by pop singer John Newman which went live just before the March 2020 lockdown, has become the latest high-profile casualty of the coronavirus pandemic. Berkley Executive, which pitched its services to wealthy people in the entertainment and corporate markets, closed last week and disposed of its fleet…

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Eastbourne MG

Eastbourne driver refused licence for electric car – as it might “set a trend” and overwhelm infrastructure

By Mark Bursa | 23 February 2021, 09:04

Eastbourne Council has agreed to licence an electric taxi – after originally refusing the application, fearing that “it might set a trend”. Driver Dean O’Hara (pictured) was shocked to have the licence request for his new all-electric MG5 refused after fuddy-duddy councillors said a rush to buy electric taxis would overwhelm the sleepy south coast…

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Uber York

Police to eject Uber drivers from York in cross-border crackdown on ride-hailing giant

By Mark Bursa | 22 February 2021, 16:58

Uber drivers attempting to pick up bookings in York are likely to be escorted from the city by Police, as the city looks to protect local operators. York removed Uber’s operator’s licence in December 2017 when the City of York council gambling, licensing and regulatory committee voted by seven to three, with two abstentions, not…

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Uber Farrar

Analysis: Supreme Court rules that Uber drivers are workers, but legal wrangles will continue over multiple app employers

By Mark Bursa | 19 February 2021, 16:45

The Supreme Court’s decision to reject Uber’s final appeal against an Employment Tribunal ruling that its drivers are “workers” sets a precedent that will have a significant effect on the gig economy. Lawyers representing the drivers who brought the claim in 2016 now expect a torrent of further claims. Paul Jennings, a partner at lawyers…

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Supreme Court to make final judgement on Uber employment rights on Friday

By Mark Bursa | 18 February 2021, 15:01

The Supreme Court is expected to announce its judgement this Friday, February 19, on Uber’s appeal against an earlier ruling that its drivers are classified as “workers”, not independent contractors. The dispute has been grinding through the courts since 2016, and the final ruling will have enormous implications for the future of the gig economy.…

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Bournemouth taxi licensing revamp

Operators angry as south coast towns vote to remove licence cap in Bournemouth licensing revamp

By Mark Bursa | 16 February 2021, 09:13

Taxi operators and drivers in the south coast towns of Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole are angry at local council plans to introduce sweeping changes to taxi and private hire policies in the towns. Despite the massive downturn in trade resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic, BCP Council is pressing ahead with new policies that could cost…

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Jaguar XJ EV

Jaguar axes production ready electric XJ as part of major strategic revamp for JLR

By Mark Bursa | 15 February 2021, 17:27

Jaguar has axed the production ready, all-electric new XJ as part of a radical revamp of Jaguar Land Rover’s strategy. The move will come as a blow to chauffeurs who were looking to Jaguar to provide a luxury alterative to the big three German brands, Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Audi. The new XJ – which has…

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DG delivery

DG Cars’ delivery business growth helps Nottingham taxi firm take on drivers during Covid-19 lockdown

By Mark Bursa | 15 February 2021, 08:28

DG Delivery, Nottingham private hire giant DG Cars’ takeaway food delivery business, has now signed up more than 160 restaurants across Nottingham and Derby – and helped the company buck the trend of driver losses by recruiting 175 new drivers during the pandemic. The business, launched during the first lockdown in April 2020, has helped…

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TC Cars

Birmingham’s TC Cars joins growing Take Me portfolio in £2 million takeover

By Mark Bursa | 15 February 2021, 08:27

Ambitious taxi operator Take Me has added another company to its growing portfolio, with the addition of Birmingham-based TC Cars. And Take Me managing director David Hunter said the company had at least three more acquisitions in the pipeline to be announced in the near future. This deal, valued in excess of £2 million, differs…

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Uber connect

Uber launches Uber Connect same-day delivery product with pilot schemes in three UK cities

By Mark Bursa | 11 February 2021, 09:40

Uber has launched a new same-day delivery service called Uber Connect in the UK. Costing the same as a regular UberX journey, the new product will initially be available in Manchester, Birmingham and Leeds as a pilot programme. Uber Connect allows users to deliver parcels and packages quickly by tapping into the existing Uber network.…

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Sadiq Khan

Mayor Khan excludes ‘inappropriate’ taxis and PHVs from his future London transport strategy

By Mark Bursa | 11 February 2021, 09:39

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has excluded taxis and private hire vehicles from his Transport Strategy as they still cause brake, tyre and tailpipe emissions – and taking a cab is “unhealthy”. Mayor Khan (pictured) said he wanted 80% of all journeys in London by 2041 to be made on foot, by bicycle or public transport.…

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Nick and Joseph Havn

Blacklane acquires majority stake in Jaguar-backed London e-chauffeur Havn

By Mark Bursa | 9 February 2021, 16:23

Global chauffeur service Blacklane has acquired a majority stake in Havn, the Jaguar-backed London electric chauffeur start-up, and has added the brand to its offering in the capital. Blacklane now plans to grow Havn’s service and offer more zero-emission rides in London, as well as adding the Jaguar I-Pace EV to its global fleet for…

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Gett

Gett under HMRC investigation over VAT on B2B rides

By Mark Bursa | 8 February 2021, 08:52

Ride-hailing app Gett has been hit by an HMRC investigation into £5 million of business-to-business VAT receipts, according to documents filed at CompaniesHouse.  Gett is part-owned by Volkswagen, works with both private hire operators and London black cabs. According to Gett, the dispute centres around whether or not Gett is acting as an agent or…

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Burnley screens

Burnley Council to pay for Covid-protective screens to be installed in all local private hire cars

By Mark Bursa | 4 February 2021, 22:35

Burnley Council has secured funding to fit protective screens inside private hire vehicles in the town. The funding is part of its overall Covid-19 response to supporting local businesses, and includes the cost of the screen and fitting. The screens will be restricted to saloon and estate cars. Minibuses are not currently included; however, this…

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Brighton grant

Brighton Council proposes Covid support grant for local taxi and private hire drivers

By Mark Bursa | 4 February 2021, 22:34

South coast taxi and private hire drivers could be handed a £500,000 financial lifeline by Brighton and Hove City Council, if party leaders approve the latest round of Covid grants. Three taxi drivers in the city have died of coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, and many drivers have been forced to use food…

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covid deaths

Covid-19 death toll for professional drivers reached 209 in 2020, ONS data reveals, while drivers are still dying in 2021

By Mark Bursa | 4 February 2021, 22:32

The death toll from Covid-19 for taxi drivers, private hire drivers and chauffeurs passed 200 in 2020, and the occupation continues to be one of the most high-risk, with a death rate for male drivers more than three times higher than the national average. According to new Office for National Statistics data, 209 male drivers…

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