FEARS have emerged that Uber are beginning to take a strangle hold on the cab trade in Basildon.

Independent councillor Derrick Fellowes, who represents the Nethermayne ward, is demanding action.

He was amazed by the vast number of Ubers after being shown the controversial app by a taxi driver.

He said: “There were literally five sitting about waiting for jobs.

“I have many concerns. The first being is local taxi drivers are registered and are licensed by the borough council to work here, whereas the Ubers aren’t, they operate here when they’re licensed to operate in London.

“Local taxi drivers go through a number of checks which ensure passengers are safe and they’re driving lawfully, it takes months before they’re licensed. I’m told Ubers can get licensed in a day, which means there’s no guarantee of the same security.

“Taxis are patrolled by the council so provide that safety which Ubers don’t. They’re pinching trade from legit operators which is unfair.”

Mr Fellowes has now raised concerns with the chair of the licensing committee councillor Imelda Clancy, who address the issue with officers. He added: “I hope this will be a step forward in stomping out the issue, protecting residents and taxi businesses.”

Last March, the Uber app was “geo-fenced” from Southend, Chelmsford and Rayleigh, which prevents the driver from operating in the locations. Taxi drivers believe this has caused Ubers to zone in on Basildon.

Martin Taylor, a taxi driver at Direct Cars, Basildon, said: “Having Ubers here has impacted us massively. Our businesses and income has been affected, money has dropped and I’m doing more hours.

“They’re all over the place, at Basildon station, Billericay High Street, everywhere.

“Before we’re licensed, we take multiple tests, CRB checks, medical checks, and a variety of courses, but I don’t think Uber drivers have the same thing.

“They just show their car, driving licence and get a sticker, that’s it, it’s quite worrying.”

Asa Oddy, 43, co-owner of Ace Taxis Limited and Wickford Taxis, said: “The issue is, they’re licensed to operate in London not here, but work here anyway.

“Nobody is stopping this from happening and they’re not being regulated properly.”