On Friday the taxi-hailing app Uber lost its appeal against a ruling that its drivers must be classed as workers and so be entitled to minimum-wage rights. The company has promised to launch a further appeal, as it argues that its workers are self-employed, with all the benefits that come from that (such as flexible working hours).
The ruling is just another problem to hit the already beleaguered company. In September the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, announced that Transport for London would not be renewing Uber’s licence, causing a storm of criticism from the 3.5m Uber users in the capital.
Meanwhile, London buses are set to double up as delivery vans under new proposals designed to tackle congestion in the city. Go-Ahead, London’s largest bus operator, is considering using its depots as delivery hubs for parcels from Amazon and other internet shopping forums, and potentially even using its buses to deliver packages around the city.
In addition to boosting revenue for Go-Ahead, the scheme would also help to reduce congestion levels in a city that has become clogged with vans making deliveries for internet shoppers. TfL estimates that 30-60% of deliveries to offices in central London are now for personal use.