The arrival of Uber has raised concerns among established Ipswich taxi firms and drivers. 

The multi-national company has had a presence in Ipswich since 2021, as it partnered with Hawk Express to deliver private services across the town.

But on Monday, May 13, Ipswich Borough Council approved a full operating licence for the company, which has left some taxi services with mixed feelings.

The company is understood to be able to operate fully as of Monday, May 20. 

A spokesman for Fast Cabs said: “Ipswich is such a small town - this will affect all taxi companies that have been running for some time, in such a big way.

“Ipswich is quiet for other taxi companies; we all spend a lot of money per month on advertising our companies for our self-employed drivers to earn their living, to support their families.

“This will have a big impact on all drivers and companies that are already established in Ipswich.”

Meanwhile, taxi driver Mohammed Miah, said that the company’s introduction to Ipswich could not only hurt companies but also drivers.

East Anglian Daily Times: Taxi companies have mixed feelings about Uber coming to IpswichTaxi companies have mixed feelings about Uber coming to Ipswich (Image: NQ Archive)

He believes that Uber can create a situation where drivers registered in other towns could come to Ipswich and operate their cabs under the banner of Uber, which would “take businesses away for us”.

“But it’s not all bad, Uber is a big company coming into our town,” Mr Miah added.

“It would boost the town’s reputation for sure, especially with away fans coming in for Premier League games.”

Additionally, a spokesman for Fine Cabs raised concerns over contracts handed to taxi firms by Suffolk County Council. 

They feared companies could be outbid and potentially lose out on school-run contracts from Suffolk County Council. 

Suffolk County Council was approached for comment on this matter.

The cab firm spokesman said: "But what if being as big as they are Uber is the cheapest bidder, then it takes away crucial funds for us."

Councillor Ruman Muhith who sits on the Licensing and Regulatory Committee at Ipswich Borough Council said that while Uber's introduction to Ipswich is a positive for the town, the local taxi companies should be protected. 

The borough council added: "As the local licensing authority, Ipswich Borough Council has a statutory duty to accept and determine applications from any persons or company seeking to register a Private Hite Operator License to allow them to offer a private hire service which employs registered drivers."

An Uber spokesperson said: "We are pleased to have been granted a licence to operate in Ipswich, which will help boost earning opportunities for drivers, provide passengers with greater transport options across the city and support the local economy.”