Let’s hope Uber plays by the rules if it sets up here

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The received wisdom is that competition is good for business.

But try telling that to taxi drivers in Portsmouth and the surrounding area as they digest the news that controversial firm Uber is eyeing up a city base.

Those The News have spoken to have told of their worries about how the competitor would hit their trade.

It’s fair to say the company has had a rough ride so far where it’s opened around the world.

On the one hand, it offers great convenience for the user – simply download the app, find a car and make a booking.

But that’s where things get a little sticky.

Its critics say that this could put customers in danger of ending up with unregulated drivers and, ultimately, putting their safety at risk.

Of course, if it were simply a business row, it would be a case of ‘may the best firms win’ between the existing taxi companies and Uber.

But it’s the safety of passengers aspect that is most concerning.

And it certainly means Portsmouth City Council’s licensing committee will have a job on its hands when the application is discussed.

We can only hope common sense prevails.

Uber is only saying that it is ‘considering its options’. So, in fact, this may all come to nothing.

But if it does end up working on the city streets, the company must comply with all the rules affecting existing minicab and taxi firms – an assurance that has been given by city councillor Luke Stubbs.

Surely a level playing field is a basic right for all in the business world.

We’ll be looking on with interest and will keep readers up to date as this story develops.

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