Uber loses licence to operate in UK

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By Iyasere V.J. 

Uber has lost its licence to operate in London effective September 30, London Transport regulator announced on Friday.

The decision by London will affect over 40,000 drivers in a huge blow to the taxi app.

The transport regulator said that Uber approach to transportation lacked corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications.

According to the regulator, the final day of Uber’s license will be on Sep. 30.

Uber, which has the right to appeal the decision within 21 days, responded to  to the ban In a statement.

Uber said that banning its operations in London would, “show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers.” Uber vowed to challenge the ruling. It has 21 days to lodge an appeal.

Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, said: “3.5 million Londoners who use our app, and more than 40,000 licensed drivers who rely on Uber to make a living, will be astounded by this decision.

“To defend the livelihoods of all those drivers, and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners who use our app, we intend to immediately challenge this in the courts.

“Drivers who use Uber are licensed by Transport for London and have been through the same enhanced DBS background checks as black cab drivers.”

Uber pointed out that its technology enhances rather than reduces safety. It said it had always followed TfL rules on reporting serious incidents and worked closely with the Metropolitan Police.

“As we have already told TfL, an independent review has found that ‘greyball’ has never been used or considered in the UK for the purposes cited by TfL,” Mr Elvidge added.

 Uber will be able to operate in October whilst its appeal is being considered.

In London, Uber has faced criticism from unions, lawmakers and traditional black cab drivers over working conditions.

Globally, Uber has endured a tumultuous few months after a string of scandals involving allegations of sexism and bullying at the company, leading to investor pressure which forced out former CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick.

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

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he backed the decision.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Uber said it would challenge a decision by London’s transport regulator on Friday to strip it of its license to operate from the end of the month.

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