Uber raises London fares by 10% and peak trips to Gatwick and Heathrow airports by up to 25%

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Uber said the increase in fares is designed to attract new drivers to deal with a spike in demand since the pandemic.

Uber has said it is increasing its prices in London by 10% for standard journeys - the first price hike since 2017.

Peak trips to airports, such as Heathrow and Gatwick, will also rise by up to 25%, the minicab app said in a message to drivers.

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It said the minimum fare would increase from £5 to £5.50 and the base fare would go up from £2.50 to £2.75.

The price rise will come in to force today (November 11) at 12noon, and will apply to UberX, access, assist, green, comfort and XL rides.

The tech giant said the increase in fares was designed to tackle issues like surge pricing and long waiting times.

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The company said it is recruiting 20,000 more drivers to help get service levels back to normal.

Uber’s message to drivers. Credit: LondonWorldUber’s message to drivers. Credit: LondonWorld
Uber’s message to drivers. Credit: LondonWorld | Credit: LondonWorld

An Uber spokesperson said: “We’re making these changes to help provide a better rider experience, by signing up more drivers to meet the growing demand.

“We know people rely on Uber to book a safe trip around London and this small fare increase will help reduce wait times.

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“As always riders will get a fare estimate before booking their journey.”

A message was shared to drivers earlier this week, explaining the fare hike.

The email, seen by LondonWorld, said: “We set prices to give you the best earnings opportunities, while also encouraging riders to request more rides by making trips affordable.

“When there’s high rider demand, fares may increase and if rider demand decreases, prices may lower back down.

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“People are moving around again and rider demand has increased.

“That’s why fares are increasing in London by 10% from Thursday November 11 at 12noon.”

The message continued: “Fares are also increasing at airports during peak hours by a further 15% from Thursday November 11 at 12noon.”

The price increases from Uber in London. Credit: LondonWorldThe price increases from Uber in London. Credit: LondonWorld
The price increases from Uber in London. Credit: LondonWorld | Credit: LondonWorld

The minicab app would not say how long the fare increase would last for.

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In the email to drivers, it said: “Changes to fares are guided by rider demand.

“That means during busy months, prices may go up, and when we see rider demand decrease, prices may go back down.”

An Uber driver told LondonWorld: “This is good news.

“But you never know what Uber will do next.

“It is always being unreasonable to drivers.

“The pandemic was hard, as nobody was going out and using Uber.

“However it is starting to get a little better now.”

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At the time, the App Drivers & Couriers Union (ADCU) said fares could rise over the strike action - as it was calling for better working conditions.

The walk out was over Uber’s failure to implement the Supreme Court ruling to pay waiting time, which the ADCU said makes up around 40% of an Uber driver’s working time.

It also disputed the introduction of fixed-price fares which union bosses claim has led to reduced driver incomes and greater financial risk.

The union also demanded for Uber to pay all working time including waiting time and respect the Supreme Court ruling and an end to up front pricing.

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It also asked for an increase of fares from £1.25 per mile to £2 per mile and for Uber to reduce its commission take from 25% to 15%.

The ADCU demanded an end to unfair dismissals without right of appeal.

Uber has since announced that the company would now pay pension contributions for drivers.

The company also announced in March that 70,000 drivers will be treated as workers, earning at least the National Living Wage, with paid-for holiday time.

Those eligible will be automatically enrolled into a pension plan.

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