Uber has officially lost its license to operate in London after a shocking ruling by the city’s transport body.
Despite the fact that 3.5 million Londoners use the app, it will no longer be offered within the M25. The authority wrote: “TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license.”
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
Not only will Londoners be out of the loop, but 40,000 Uber drivers will also now be forced out of work. It is well known that Uber is a bone of contention for the GMB trade union and the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association.
Uber said it would challenge this decision, releasing a statement in response to the ruling.
“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. This ban would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers,” said Tom Elvidge, General Manager of Uber in London.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan stands by the TFL explaining why in a statement on his Twitter.
My response to @TfL’s licensing decision on Uber: https://t.co/x1s7m11L9h. https://t.co/hpkt1kmgMYpic.twitter.com/bwxxE6xNtN— Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) September 22, 2017
“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,” he said.
Uber cars will not suddenly dissapoear from London roads, the licence doesn't expire until Septemeber 30th of this year and with Uber planing on contesting the TFL in court, it can still operate until all appeals have been exhausted.
Why did this happen?
There isn't one clear reason, just a culmination of alleged wrongdoings on Uber's part. “Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility” claimed TFL. This is likely in relation to reports of serious criminal offences, obtaining medical certificates and driver background checks
Additionally UBer's use of the software Greyball had TFL worried. Greyball can prevent regulatory bodies such as the TFL from monitoring Uber's goings on.
Uber has also faced critcism with regards to their working conditions from unions, lawmakers and black-cab drivers. Unions like the IWGB and GMB asked the TFL to require Uber to provide its drivers with basic employment rights, such as holidays and minimum pay.
This is yet another blow for the transport tech company, since the year saw sexism and bullying scandals amoong their employees and the departure of co-founder and CEO Travis Kalanick.