Uber Set to Lose Licence to Operate in London

By Sandeepnewstyle (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 ], via Wikimedia Commons

Giant US mini-cab hailing app Uber “not fit and proper” to operate in London according to transport regulator. The news broke this morning that Uber’s application for a new licence to operate in London has been rejected.

Currently their license runs until 30th September, however, they have 21 days to appeal and can operate until that process expires.

Transport for London have said the US company’s licence was rejected because “Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications”.

Uber, that has been operating in London since 2012 claims that it has 3.5 million users in London with over 40,000. drivers. Since being introduced to the capital it’s faced endless opposition from London’s iconic Black Cab drivers and other critics over its treatment of both drivers and passengers as well as adding to general congestion in the city.

Tom Elvidge, Uber’s general manager for London issued a scathing response this morning saying:

“By wanting to ban our app from the capital Transport for London and the Mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice. If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport.”

“To defend the livelihoods of all those drivers, and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners who use our app, we intend to immediately challenge this in the courts.”

“Drivers who use Uber are licensed by Transport for London and have been through the same enhanced DBS background checks as black cab drivers. Our pioneering technology has gone further to enhance safety with every trip tracked and recorded by GPS.”

“We have always followed TfL rules on reporting serious incidents and have a dedicated team who work closely with the Metropolitan Police. As we have already told TfL, an independent review has found that ‘greyball’ has never been used or considered in the UK for the purposes cited by TfL.”

“Uber operates in more than 600 cities around the world, including more than 40 towns and cities here in the UK. This ban would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers.”

Mayor for London Sadiq Khan corroborated with TFL’s decision in a tweet:

Of course the reaction online has been of shock and confusion this morning:

More details to follow.

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