Beware the Uber PR machine! Independent study reveals significant number of TfL supporters exist

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Beware the Uber PR machine! Independent study reveals significant number of TfL supporters exist
Posted on September 28, 2017 by Braden MacDonald

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Storm in a taxi-cab? 

Uber has its PR machine in over-drive, and the media is rewarding the Uber advocates, but our new independent research among 1,000 Londoners shows they’ve got it wrong. The data reveals that in spite of the furore over the Uber ban, almost as many Londoners support the TfL decision as those who disagree with it. When it comes to alternate transportation, the majority say they will just take London’s public transport – and most people insist they would even walk before they turn to Black Cabs for their transport needs.

The recent announcement about Uber losing its licence to operate in the capital appeared to have Londoners in shock. Half a million people have signed a petition asking TfL to revoke its decision. A new study set out to reveal the true reactions of Londoners and what consumers will choose as their alternative method of transportation.

Global audience research platform Lucid teamed up with data and technology communications experts Keen as Mustard Marketing to survey a representative sample of 1,000 Londoners in all boroughs. We’re here to give Londoners a voice, and the silent majority has spoken.

Top line findings:

  • Londoners are impartial to the decision, or divided at most. While many Londoners strongly disagree with TfL’s decision (at 23.4%), this is little different from those who neither agree nor disagree at 22.2%, and those who strongly agree at 21.6%.
  • Respondents value safety most when choosing their ride, with an average of 40 out of 100 points allocated to safety, with the remainder of the points allocated to price with 35 and convenience with 25.
  • For alternate transportation, majority of Londoners (36.7%) will take the train/tube/bus. After the top choice of public transport, Londoners will use Minicabs, and then even consider walking, before they finally resort to calling a London Black Cab.


Londoners are divided about TfL’s decision

When asked how they feel about TfL’s decision not to issue Uber a new licence, the majority (23.4%) strongly disagree with the decision, but this is followed very closely by those who neither agree nor disagree at 22.2%, and those who strongly agree at 21.6%. The level of agreement rises within the age groups, with 25.93% of those aged 45-54 in strong agreement, and 31.45% of those 55+. It is also interesting to note that in spite of the safety issue, more men strongly agree with the decision than women, at 25.32% compared to 17.14%.

Uber was the most frequently used by all ages
Compared to Black Cabs, Minicabs, Addison Lee, and other app-based services (e.g. Gett, mytaxi), Uber was used most frequently by all age groups at an average of nearly 3 times per month, while Minicabs were taken on average 1.11 times per month, Black Cabs were taken 0.98 times per month, and Addison Lee was taken only 0.4 times per month.

People value safety above price and convenience
People were asked to allocate points up to 100 relating to importance of price, safety and convenience when choosing a ride. This clearly showed that Londoners value safety most with an average of 40 of 100 points allocated.  But price was nearly as important, at 35 points, indicating perhaps that this is the basis for the divided view about the Uber decision.  This ranking remains the same across all age groups.

Londoners will use Minicabs, or even walk, before they take Black Cabs
What will Londoners use instead of Uber when the ban is implemented? Above all, Londoners will resort to the train/tube/bus, where 36.7% say they will use this alternative. 19.7% of people will consider Minicabs. Interestingly, 14% of people say they will walk before they take a Black Cab. Only 12.6% of Londoners will take a Black Cab as an alternative, which isn’t a big surprise considering the importance of price over convenience. The least likely alternative will be cycling, with only 4.5% of people saying they will do this. Perhaps this is because they value the importance of their safely over price and convenience?

Breaking down age groups, young consumers aged 28-24 are more likely to walk than they are to even consider Minicabs, Black Cabs or Addison Lee. Maybe Uber’s non-availability will mean a healthier next generation of Londoners?

Londoners are divided when it comes to whether or not they agree or disagree with TfL’s decision, and many are impartial to the decision at all. Either way, London’s Uber ban will have minimal impact on people’s daily lives, and Londoners will happily take the train, tube or bus as alternate transportation for their busy commutes.


For more information, please contact Julie Aebersold at +44 (0) 203 176 2617 or