LONDON – Uber, the world’s largest taxi-hailing app, has been stripped of its licence to operate on London’s streets.
Transport for London (TfL), in a surprise announcement on Friday morning, denied the cab company’s request to renew its licence in the capital after determining that the car-hailing app is “not fit and proper” to hold the licence.
TfL has today informed Uber that it will not be issued with a private hire operator licence. pic.twitter.com/nlYD0ny2qo
— Transport for London (@TfL) September 22, 2017
TfL said that “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 claims it has 3.5m users in London and 40,000 drivers. It has been operating in the city since 2012 and has faced huge opposition from taxi drivers and other critics over its treatment of drivers and claims it has added to congestion.
The licence is due to expire next Saturday, September 30. The firm has 21 days to appeal. However, it will be allowed to continue to operate during the legal process.
Ahead of the announcement, Helen Chapman, TfL general manager of Taxi & Private Hire, said this week that the cost of regulation is rising due to a “huge” growth in the industry, the BBC reported.
Uber hit back, saying it would appeal and claiming the move “would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies”.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said of the decision not to issue Uber with a licence: “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.”