Shocking footage shows a man being dragged down a busy road by an Uber taxi. The passenger can be seen hanging from a rear door, before failing to the floor as the driver continues down Baddow Road in Chelmsford.
Uber has now responded to footage, which was recorded at around 12.35am on Sunday January 7.
According to Metro, moments before the incident, a group can be seen shouting while standing next to the car. One person is shoved before the car, a light-coloured Toyota Prius, pulls away.
The incident was filmed by cab driver Afzaal Nasir while he was parked at a taxi rank. He said: “The Uber driver almost drove over a guy. And two guys in black jackets near the car are taxi marshals trying to diffuse the situation. And the driver was under no threat.”
He has also slammed the organisation for operating in Chelmsford despite not being licensed to do so by the city council.
“They are not paying anything to the local council and the local community is not getting anything,’ he added.
“They are working in Chelmsford illegally and coming all the way from London.”
Despite Mr Nasir’s claims, Uber have maintained that they vet their drivers before allowing them to work for the company, and are fully licensed to operate in the city under the same regulations as private hire vehicles.
A spokesperson for the company said: “Uber abides by the same rules and regulations as all other private hire operators. It’s common industry practice for drivers licensed in one jurisdiction to carry out trips in other jurisdictions as long as they are pre-booked and dispatched from the operator’s licence to which they are registered.
“Uber only partners with licensed private hire drivers and while councils can have different policies, the fundamentals are the same. All private hire drivers in the UK have to go through an enhanced DBS background check, the same background check all black cab drivers go through.”
Essex Police has since launched an investigation and is appealing for witnesses to the incident to come forward.
A spokesperson for the force said: “Officers were called by a taxi driver reporting a man had attacked a passenger with a bottle causing a cut to his arm. The taxi driver managed to drive off before calling police and the victim was taken to hospital for treatment for his injury.”
The Law Commission Report, Taxi and Private Hire Services Law, states: “It is important to recognise that the cross-border issue is different as between taxis and private hire vehicles: in the case of taxis, the licensing area determines where they can apply for hire, whilst private hire vehicles can pursue their trade (always limited to pre-booked journeys) without any geographical restriction.
“Any change to the law on how cross-border services may be booked does not therefore change the fundamental feature that operators are, and will continue to be, allowed to offer their services to customers being picked up and dropped off outside the operator’s licensing area.”