Addison Lee has accused rival Uber of attempting to “water down” new private car hire regulations.

Europe’s largest private hire operator has written an open letter to London mayor Sadiq Khan complaining about Uber’s actions.

The argument centres on Transport for London’s new regulations which were approved in March this year.

Among the new rules required for private hire drivers are: a written English and map reading test, notification of any changes made to apps, pricing or products and all operators to run a call centre in the licensed city London.

Uber said the new rules will “threaten” thousands of driver jobs and result in longer wait times for customers.

Addison Lee said the regulations will ensure that “all licensed drivers have a command of English and knowledge of London’s geography”.

“Addison Lee has 5,000 licensed drivers and is determined to lead the way in driving up industry standards,” the company said in a statement.

“They will also ensure that all licensed vehicles will have fully effective Hire and Reward motor insurance in place.

It added that in May, Uber welcomed the outcome of TFL’s consultation process on regulation, after lobbying hard for changes to the initial proposals.

Andy Boland, CEO of Addison Lee, said: “Having previously backed the proposals it’s hard to understand Uber’s resistance to implementation of these new regulations.

“The whole industry was fully involved in the consultation and there is a strong belief that they will benefit both passengers and drivers,” said Boland.

Uber said it supports Sadiq Khan’s ‘Keep London Open’ campaign and further regulation will threaten this vision.

“Bureaucratic new rules from TFL send the opposite message and threaten the livelihood of thousands of drivers. Fewer drivers will mean longer waiting times or no cars when you need them most,” Uber said.

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