Uber's license to operate in London won't be renewed

Georgia Reed
September 24, 2017

In a big blow to Uber, London's transport regulator announced on Friday that it will not renew the taxi company's licence, citing "public safety and security implications". They have let down their drivers and customers by failing, in the view of TfL, to act as a fit and proper operator.

Uber's current license expires at the end of September, but the company has 21 days to appeal and can continue to operate until there is another ruling.

General Manager of Uber in London, Tom Elvidge said: "3.5 million Londoners who use our app, and more than 40,000 licensed drivers who rely on Uber to make a living, will be astounded by this decision".

TfL has today informed Uber that it will not be issued with a private hire operator licence.

A Rome court banned unlicensed ride-hailing services such as Uber in April this year, but the ban was short-lived after the company appealed to a higher court.

Uber launched in the capital in 2012 and has attracted millions of customers while also employing over 40,000 drivers in London alone.

Uber has always been criticised for not reporting criminal offences, including sexual assault, in a timely manner or even at all.

The company pulled out of Austin, Texas, when it was told its drivers would have to undergo fingerprint background checks, but resumed services after the requirement was ended.

A petition set up following the decision has been heavily promoted by Uber. Uber drivers use their own cars, and drivers can rent a auto to drive with Uber if they do not own a vehicle.

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"I think what's happening with Uber is really not very justified in London", Ross said.

The renewal for Uber's license to operate in London won't be possible this year because it has been discovered that its practices endanger public safety and security according to the statement released this Friday by local regulator Transport for London.

The decision is a victory for the city's traditional black cab industry, which has been hurt by the proliferation of Uber drivers and has pushed for tighter regulation of the San Francisco-based ride-hailing service.

"As soon as we were made aware we immediately stopped this licensed private hire driver from being able to use our app".

The Uber service has become the darling of most Londoners, but in a city filled with well-known black cabs and minicab firms, there are plenty of alternatives out there.

Despite the accusation of failing to take passenger safety as seriously as it should, Uber denied it posed a safety threat to riders and said it had always followed the rules.

London's mayor Sadiq Khan has backed the ban.

"Before the arrival of Uber, Britain's taxi market was flabby and sclerotic", the major British newspaper said.

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