Published: Sat, September 23, 2017
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Uber Loses London License

Uber Loses London License

Uber's current licence expires on 30 September.

More than 460,000 signatures have been added to Uber's petition on Change.org titled "Save Your Uber in London" as the company prepares to appeal against the decision.

London's municipal transport authority took commuters by surprise Friday when it rejected Uber's application for a new license to operate, ruling that the ride-sharing company is not a "fit and proper" private vehicle hire operator.

The company's UberX offers rides in London by individuals with licences issued by TfL, often in drivers' personal cars.

Transport for London said the conduct of Uber, which has around 40,000 drivers and 3.5 million customers in the British capital, had "demonstrated a lack of corporate responsibility", and the agency would not renew the company's license to operate.

And with Uber's licence in Liverpool not due for renewal until 2021, TfL's decision is unlikely to have any impact on people using the app here.

Uber has 21 days to appeal, during which it can continue to operate in London.

These include: Uber's approach to reporting serious crimes, Uber's approach to obtaining medical certificates, explaining its use of Greyball- internally developed software that can be used to block regulatory agents from gaining full access to the app.

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"At the flick of a pen, Sadiq Khan is threatening to put 40,000 people out of work and leave 3.5 million users of Uber stranded", Greg Hands, the government minister for London, wrote on Twitter late on Friday.

Uber's general manager in London Tom Elvidge said: "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".

London's traditional black cab drivers have attacked Uber, saying it has undercut safety rules and threatened their livelihoods.

The taxi app has also been forced to quit several countries, including Denmark and Hungary, and faced regulatory battles in multiple U.S. states and around the world.

Uber has also been criticised by unions and MPs overworkers' rights.

"This ban shows the world that London is far from being open and is closed to innovative companies, who bring choice to consumers and work opportunities to those who need them".

Stronger regulations around taxi licensing and enforcement are needed, Leeds City Council has said as a row broke out over Uber cabs in the country's capital.

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