Booking an Uber must seem a bit like being in Mr Benn.
You enter your details into the app and then, as if by magic… a car appears.
The thing with Mr Benn of course is there there’s only the one shop, and the one shopkeeper. Ubers, however, they are many. And they all wait outside my building for you to book them.
We’ve always had problems with Private Hire Vehicles parking up on the access road to Whitehall Quay, but since the rise of Uber it’s become an infestation. They narrow the access road by parking on both sides. They park in the residents parking bays. They park in front of the NO PARKING sign by the drop-off spaces, getting the way of deliveries. They park in the entrance to the underground car park. They park up at Whitehall Riverside a dozen at a time, including in the loading bay outside Whitehall Place. They come from Bradford and Kirklees and heaven knows where else. Don’t believe me? Look at the photos. I have loads.
There were four of them the other week when my brother came to pick me up so we could go bury our mum, meaning he couldn’t wait anywhere safe.
The Council and the site management do their best, but Ubers breed.
And all so that you can save a few quid getting home.
It’s your life, but…
So far, it sounds like a tale of entitlement. How dare these people park their filthy cars anywhere near my posh apartment? Right?
Well, consider this. The reason all these Ubers – and the rest – park round my way is so that they can quickly get to Leeds Station.
Except, they can’t. Or shouldn’t. There’s a No Right Turn at the end of the access road, just for this purpose. The road markings are pretty clear as well. They still turn right, somehow negotiating the street signs and traffic island, causing people to scurry out of their way when crossing the road. If you hear them, that is, some of these cars are electric.
Why would you get into a vehicle driven by someone with such a blatant disregard for the rules of the road?
Do you want to be in one of these things when the driver hits a pedestrian? Or when you get T-boned crossing a junction?
Is your life, or anyone else’s, really worth the few quid you’ll save?