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London cab drivers attack Uber's Tube strike fares

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Image caption The Uber app lets riders order a private car in hundreds of cities, including London

Black cab drivers attacked the car service company Uber ahead of the Tube strike later because its fares increase as demand rises.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) accused Uber of "exploiting" strike-hit commuters, and advised them to share a metered cab with others.

Uber's spokesman said an algorithm was used to charge riders.

He said that Uber drivers headed to where demand was highest, in turn reducing fares.

'Out in force'

Uber, which lets people find a driver using a smartphone app, deployed twice as many cars as usual during the last Tube strike in July.

Its drivers would be "out in force", Uber's spokesman told BBC London. Fares were likely to be a "a bit" higher than usual, given the expected surge in demand.

"Our drivers can have absolutely no control over the algorithm," he said. "When you've booked your car you're warned [the fare] will be a bit more than usual."

Black cab drivers have accused Uber of breaking the law because its cars are not fitted with taximeters.

In the latest of a series of complaints about Uber, Steve McNamara, the LTDA's general secretary, said Uber "surged" prices when people were most in need. "All it is is exploitation of people when Uber don't pay a penny of taxes in the UK."

'Blitz spirit'

He advised Londoners looking for a cab during the strike to head to a taxi rank.

"The best station is Euston because they have people managing their taxi queue. Adopt the Blitz spirit. Talk to other people, find out where they're going, share a cab."

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