GATWICK taxi drivers are to protest against Uber claiming the app is causing them financial hardship.

Campaigners are calling for action over the amount of London-based Uber vehicles in and around Gatwick and Crawley.

They are holding a rally on Saturday, October 31, to call on Crawley Borough Council to step up the pressure on Transport for London and Uber, to limit the operations of London licensed vehicles in Sussex.

One taxi driver, Zak Ben said: "As taxi drivers we are embedded in the fabric of our communities.

"From business professionals to school mums, there isn’t anyone we don’t pick up and we know our town is struggling right now.

"We can’t afford to allow a multinational to take much needed business out of our local economy, it’s not on.”

The Argus: Uber is credited as a major driving force behind the "gig economy", although it is disputing the assertion. (Picture AP Photo/Eric Risberg) (PicturevAP Photo/Eric Risberg, File)

Campaigners believe the silicon valley giant is causing hardship for local drivers whose livelihoods have already been hit by the Coronavirus pandemic.

A total of 800 local taxi drivers have signed a petition demanding action to rein in the activities of London based Uber vehicles.

On October 31, Uber is ceasing its operation from a designated waiting area within the Beehive lane industrial estate near Crawley.

There is now a great deal of uncertainty about where hundreds of Uber vehicles will move to.

Unite regional officer Jamie Major said it is wrong for a "a giant multinational with a controversial track record to damage local employment".

He explained: "Crawley's economic dependence on Gatwick airport means the town is being badly affected by the Coronavirus crisis.

"Local taxi and private hire drivers are launching a campaign to ensure Crawley Borough Council and other local councils pile the pressure on Transport for London and Uber to restrict London based Uber vehicles from picking up fares around Gatwick and Crawley.

"The drivers are calling for a fair and level playing field.

"It’s wrong for a giant multinational with a controversial track record to damage local employment. We urge the councils to take action to support the economy in and around Gatwick and Crawley."