Since launching in the UK capital back in 2012, popular taxi app Uber has become an essential tool for London clubbers.
The enemy of dodgy minicabs, congested post-club cab ranks, and (perhaps more upsettingly) London's traditional black cabbies, Uber's operating system now looks to be under threat — thanks to leaked changes to private hire regulations from Transport For London (TFL).
While TFL's proposed changes aren't directly targeted at Uber, the company has claimed it will mean "an end to the Uber you know and love", specifically the enforcement of a minimum five-minute wait time for all rides, regardless of proximity to the patron.
Other new restrictions include a ban on apps showing cars for hire, a stipulation that drivers can only work for one operator at a time, an English language test and new training for drivers of private hire vehicles.
There'll also be imposed controls on ride-sharing for private hire vehicles — yup, that means you won't be able to split your fare with your pals via the Uber app.
In response to the leaked documents Uber has started a petition to fight the changes, with the document attracting more than 70,000 signatures in a matter of hours.
An open letter on the company's website, reads, "Technology that makes it safer and easier to travel around the city should be encouraged not restricted. Uber is attracting a lot of drivers, because it offers a service that no one else does."
At this stage the regulations are not concrete, consultation by TfL on the new laws will begin in the coming weeks.
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