A CAR crashed into the railings outside Buckingham Palace late on Saturday night (March 3).
Video taken by a black cab driver in the early hours of Sunday morning shows a police cordon around the vehicle on Spur Road outside the royal palace in central London.
BUCKINGHAM PALACE OLD BILL WOULD NOT LET ME GET TO CLOSE. UBER STRAIGHT INTO BUCK PAL I THINK HE WANTED TO SEE THE QUEEN.
— tonto black cabbie (@tontopat)
A policeman wouldn’t allow the man filming the scene to get too close to the car and claimed not to know whether or not it was an Uber minicab, although the car involved appears to be a Toyota Prius, a model popular with minicab drivers in the city.
The post on Twitter by @tontopat, whose profile says he has been a licensed black cab driver for 36 years, says:
“Buckingham Palace Old Bill would not let me get to [sic] close. Uber straight into Buck Pal[.] I think he wanted to see the Queen.”
There’s no love lost between licensed black cab drivers and Uber drivers; the app-based compnay is known to take custom away from the traditional cabbies with more attractive fares.
In 2015 the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA), which represents drivers of black cabs, brought a private prosecution against Uber, claiming that the smartphones used by its drivers acted as taximeters, which only licensed black cabs may have by law. The case was taken over by TfL and the High Court ruled that drivers’ smartphones were not taximeters.
In September last year, Uber’s application for a new licence in London was rejected by Transport for London on the basis that the company is not a “fit and proper” private car hire operator, although the company is allowed to continued to operate while it appeals the decision.
TfL accused Uber of a “lack of regard to the safety of its customers”, citing disclosures in the press that Uber failed to report to police a series of sex attacks by its drivers. It also says Uber conducted medical examinations of new drivers over the internet, and helped conduct criminal checks on its own drivers, a process that was supposed to be carried out independently.
Following the Buckingham Palace crash, a met police spokesman said: “Police were called to Spur Road, SW1A at 22:49hrs on Saturday, 3 March after a car was involved in a collision with street railings. Officers and London Ambulance Service attended.
“There are no reported injuries and the driver is out of the vehicle and being spoken to by police.
“No arrests have been made. Enquiries continue.
“This incident is being treated as a road traffic collision.”