LONDON – London transport authorities said Friday they would not renew Uber’s licence to operate in the city when it expires on September 30, due to public safety concerns, although the US-based ride-hailing app has said it will appeal.
Transport for London (TfL) said the conduct of Uber, which has around 40,000 drivers and 3.5 million customers 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 published on their website.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”.
London joins other cities such as Denmark, Hungary, Bulgaria, New Delhi, Mumbai and Cape Town in not granting a licence and the decision adds to woes for Uber’s new boss Dara Khosrowshahi following a string of controversies.
Around 200,000 people had signed an online petition by the company to reverse the decision and “defend the livelihoods of 40,000 drivers”.
TfL highlighted the company’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and to obtaining criminal record checks for drivers as factors in its decision.
The company came under scrutiny in Britain after it emerged that dozens of rape and sexual assault claims had been made against their drivers and when one of their drivers used his vehicle in a recent terror attack on Buckingham Palace.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also supports 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.
Uber was also suspended shortly in Pakistan after authorities claim they are violating several laws.