Uber loses licence to operate in London: authorities

A London cab driver waves a Union flag as he stands on the bonnet of his taxi during a protest against Uber on Whitehall in central London. (Reuters)

A London cab driver waves a Union flag as he stands on the bonnet of his taxi during a protest against Uber on Whitehall in central London. (Reuters)

London transport authorities announced Friday they would not renew Uber’s licence to operate in the city when it expires on September 30 over public safety concerns, although it has three weeks to appeal.

Transport for London said the conduct of the ride-hailing app, which has around 25 000 drivers operating in the British capital, had raised concerns.

“TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence,” it said in a statement.

It said 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”.

These include its approach to reporting serious criminal offences, and to obtaining criminal record checks for drivers.

Under licensing laws, Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision, and can continue to operate until the process has been exhausted.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he fully supported the decision.

“I want London to be at the forefront of innovation and new technology and to be a natural home for exciting new companies that help Londoners by providing a better and more affordable service,” he said.

“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.” – Agence France-Presse

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