Popular ride-hailing app Uber has had its licence withdrawn by Transport for London – meaning it will no longer be able to operate in the capital from the end of this month. More than 40,000 private hire drivers are registered with Uber in the United Kingdom, while around 3.5 million Londoners are said to use the app.
"TfL's regulation of London's taxi and private hire trades is designed to ensure passenger safety," said Transport for London in a statement this morning. "Private hire operators must meet rigorous regulations, and demonstrate to TfL that they do so, in order to operate. TfL must also be satisfied than an operator is fit and proper to hold a licence. TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private operator licence."
It continued that it consider Uber's approach demonstrates "a lack of corporate responsibility" in relation to potential public safety and security issues. Uber responded, saying the decision would "deprive London of a convenient and affordable form of transport."
The firm has attracted controversy in London and worldwide over recent years. Black cab drivers in particular have argued that passengers aren't as safe in Uber vehicles, citing report of sexual assult. Uber drivers themselves have complained about long working hours and poor pay.
“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," said London Mayor Sadiq Khan, in a Facebook post.
"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 continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety and security. Any operator of private hire services in London needs to play by the rules.”
Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision.
Source: Transport for London