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Hospitality could be affected by TfL sharing economy probe, says BHA

01 October 2015 by
Hospitality could be affected by TfL sharing economy probe, says BHA

Transport for London's planned consultation into the regulations surrounding private taxi hire companies could have repercussions for the hospitality industry, the British Hospitality Association has said.

The BHA has commended the capital's transport organisation for its planned consultation into private taxi companies such as Uber, which are part of the so-called sharing economy.

The consultation will address the fact that sharing economy companies can typically operate under less costly and scrupulous regulations surrounding safety and cost competition than more typical companies.

The news comes nine months after the BHA welcomed the campaign to stop a relaxation into the rules surrounding businesses such as Airbnb, in a House of Lords bill that would have made it easier for people to rent out their rooms in such a way, without requiring them to adopt the same health and safety regulations required for establishments such as hotels.

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the BHA, said: "This consultation by TFL will look into the regulations governing private-hire taxis and is to be commended. The investigation into the sharing economy mini cab sector will review if sharing economy providers should continue operating under lighter, less costly regulations than the rest of the sector. Ensuring a fair competitive environment is the right thing to do both for employees within the industry and ultimately for customers."

She added: "Visitors and residents alike should be free to choose any transport or indeed accommodation that they prefer. However, all customers must be afforded the same basic regulation and health and safety protection."

The BHA seeks to be a powerful voice championing the interests of the hospitality industry, which it estimates to number over three million people nationwide.

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