Uber drivers upset villagers near Stansted Airport

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 January 2016 | UPDATED: 13:15 15 January 2016

Lack of parking restrictions in a village just one mile from Stansted airport where residential streets are being used as waiting areas for taxis is causing anger and frustration for those who live there.

Residents in Takeley are finding their streets lined with taxis – lately many of them the new Uber taxi – waiting for callouts to the airport.

And with no residential parking restrictions in place save for one hour between 10am and 11am each day, they feel they have “no leg to stand on”.

Paige-Elizabeth Reed, whose mother lives in the village, said: “The parking is getting so bad, with Uber drivers sitting outside the residents’ houses for hours.”

But North Essex Parking Partnership, which has responsibility for parking in the Uttlesford District, says it is aware of the problem and is doing what it can to “enforce the area”.

A spokesperson said: “The problem extends to the clearway on Parsonage Road and Stansted Courtyard. Restrictions limiting parking to a specific one hour period are usually put in place to prevent commuters from all-day parking.

“Residents concerned about licensed taxis parking in the area should report their concerns to their Local Authority, in this case Uttlesford District Council which is the licensing authority.”

When asked about the licensing of taxis, UDC replied: “UDC: “We do license taxis in the district, but the Uber cars are often private hire vehicles licensed in London, and they wait around near the airport for jobs to come in via the app.

“Obviously if there are no restrictions, they do have the right to park, even if it is inconsiderate of resident’s needs.”

NEPP says it considers the potential benefits and impacts of many parking or waiting restriction requests from across north Essex, and would gladly do so in this instance.

However, it does stipulate that applications for parking or waiting restrictions must be able to demonstrate clear support, including from the local ward councillor.

“Each request is reviewed and scored, looking at key factors including the level of local support, potential benefits and impacts,” said the spokesperson.

“Schemes are then referred to the Partnership’s Committee to prioritise and agree which will be progressed.”

Ms Reed says that restrictions must be looked at more closely and as a matter of priority, as currently residents feel powerless to take action.

“We have no leg to stand on. This needs to be sorted because it’s getting beyond a joke,” she said.

“1 mile from the airport and there’s people sat for hours just waiting and waiting. It has to and needs to stop. Make it permits only so residents can park easily with no hassle.”

Parish clerk Jane Heskey said the problem had arisen in the past few weeks.

She told the Broadcast: “There is an average of 40 to 50 taxis waiting around the village. There is a problem with litter and there are no toilet facilities in their cars so there are the obvious issues there.”

She urged residents to record registration plates and take pictures of the cars so they could be checked out.

An Uber spokesman said: “We take any reports of antisocial behaviour very seriously, and what has been alleged is clearly unacceptable. While this issue is not confined to Uber, we would urge residents to report such behaviour to supportuk@uber.com so we can take the appropriate action.”

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