Nigel Farage criticises Uber drivers for not speaking English, playing loud music and lack of London knowledge

Ukip leader says service offered by traditional London cab drivers is superior - 'if people want quality, they've got to pay a little more for it'

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Nigel Farage has criticised Uber drivers for playing loud music, not speaking English and having no knowledge of London.

The Ukip leader defended the growth of the app-based taxi firm and said it should not be banned but said their service is significantly inferior to that offered by London's black cabs, saying its better quality service was worth paying for.

He hit out at Boris Johnson for describing black cab drivers as "Luddites" - a term used for people who fear technological change.

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The Mayor of London has been accused of not doing enough to protect black cabs against the growth of Uber

Speaking his LBC radio phone-in show, Mr Farage said: "My experience of Uber - and I'm sure there are some wonderful drivers working for Uber - but some of my experiences of Uber is I've got into cars with quite loud music playing, with people that don't speak English and who use the sat-nav because they haven't got a clue where they're going in London and they're not innovative.

"So I actually think what Boris should have said, is that whilst new technology is welcome, provided it is registered and within the law, we should champion London black cabs, because if people want quality, they've got to pay a little more for it."

Uber customers can hail a taxi within seconds by logging into their app and ordering a car to pick them up.

The company operates in more than 60 countries but its rise has sparked controversy, with traditional taxi firms complaining of unfair competition.

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Black cab and licensed taxi drivers staged a mass protest against Uber in central London this summer

London cab drivers say they cannot work at the low prices Uber drivers charge - they say the app-based hiring system could turn anyone into a taxi driver and undermines the lengthy and challenging training required for London cabbies.

In a staunch defence of London cab drivers, Mr Farage said: "I thought for Boris [Johnson] to want to go to war with the London cab drivers frankly was a very silly thing to have done. It would be ludicrous, ludicrous to ban Uber - you can't stop the march of change...if Uber cabs are legitimate then that's fine.

"My experience is this: I believe that the London taxis - far from being Luddites - are the best taxi drivers in the world. That knowledge test they do is an incredibly difficult thing to do, it's like an apprenticeship. They do it, they do it very, very well... they fund it themselves.

"Of the thousands of cabs I've taken over the years, 99.9 per cent of cab drivers have been polite, amusing, informative and also, innovative - if they see a traffic problem, they think of a way round it."

 

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