Transport for London (TfL) has done the unthinkable and revoked Uber’s licence to operate in the U.K.’s capital London. The reason that TfL has not renewed the licence is they do not see Uber as being “fit and proper” as a business.
Sadik Khan, the Mayor of London, has said that this decision was made to protect customer safety stating that all companies must “play by the rules”.
Uber has hit back criticising the decision commenting that “far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies”. The license will expire on 30 September 2017 but with Uber appealing the decision they will be able to continue to operate after this date until the outcome of the appeal.
Transport for London considered the Uber app’s approach to reporting serious offences and how the company performed checks on its drivers to ascertain the suitability of the driver.
The mayor said “I want London to be at the forefront of innovation and new technology and to be a natural home for exciting new companies to help Londoners by providing a better and more affordable service. However all companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect, particularly when it comes to the safety of customers. Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.
I fully support TfL’s decision, it would be wrong if TfL continue to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to London the safety and security.”
The general manager of Uber in London has now stated that an appeal is to be launched, saying, “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. By wanting to ban our app from the capital Transport for London and the mayor had caved into 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.”
Tom Elvidge (General Manager for London Uber) insisted that Uber abided by all the rules and actually carried out enhanced background checks on all drivers that were going to drive for the company.
Many people think that Uber actually made London’s traffic congestion even worse and caused gridlock within London and did not do enough for their drivers and has done little to address the incidence of violence that have occurred with its drivers.
The general secretary of the licensed taxi drivers Association Steve McNamara has said that transport for London had made the right call and “since it first came onto our streets Uber has broken the law, exploited its drivers and refused to take responsibility for the safety of passengers, we expect Uber will again embark on a spurious legal challenge against the mayor and TfL and we will urge the court to uphold this decision.”