Published: Sun, September 24, 2017
Markets | By Erika Turner

Uber to lose its licence to operate in London

Uber to lose its licence to operate in London

Uber, which boasts 40,000 drivers in London and claims that 3.5 million people use the service, plans to appeal against the decision by the Transport for London (TfL), which said the US -based company's approach and conduct was "not fit and proper" to hold a private vehicle hire licence.

Uber was first licensed to operate in the city in 2012 and will see its current license expire on September 30.

First, the rift shows contradictions between cheaper ride-hailing service and traditional black-cab operations in London.

Asked if he would contact London officials about the decision, Ross said he would not since he isn't officially involved.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who backed the TfL decision, said anger from customers and drivers "should be directed at Uber".

Khosrowshahi reiterated that the company will "vigorously" appeal the Transport for London's decision to revoke the company's license but that it should also build trust through its actions and behavior in order to become more acceptable, given is very bad track record so far.

It can keep operating in the city pending the outcome of the appeal.

"As Mayor of London I welcome innovative new companies that help Londoners by providing a better and more affordable service - but providing an innovative service is not an excuse for not following the rules".

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But it added that it would let Uber operate until the appeals process is exhausted, which could take months.

Uber, which is valued at about US$70 billion (S$95 billion) and whose investors include Goldman Sachs, has faced protests around the world for shaking up long-established taxi markets.

Uber, in its petition, stressed that "safety is of the highest importance and drivers who use Uber are licensed by Transport for London and have been through the same enhanced background checks as black cab drivers".

"We expect Uber will again embark on a spurious legal challenge against the mayor and TfL, and we will urge the court to uphold this decision".

Its smartphone app connects passengers and licensed private hire drivers in real time using GPS positioning, which enables customers to track a vehicle on screen as it approaches to pick them up.

"TfL considers 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", the transportation department said in its announcement.

"As soon as we were made aware we immediately stopped this licensed private hire driver from being able to use our app".

Uber enables users to book cars using their smartphones and is available in more than 40 towns and cities across the UK.

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