They’re the upstart transport disruptor that’s been plagued by problems for the last year - and Uber now faces its biggest problem yet with the sensational news that Transport for London (TfL) has not renewed its licence to operate in London.
Transport for London says it will not renew taxi app Uber's licence to operate in London— Sky News Breaking (@SkyNewsBreak) September 22, 2017
The move comes as TfL, which falls under the control of London mayor Sadiq Khan, has appeared to crack down on cheap taxi startups - Estonian rival Taxify was forced to stop operating after just a few days earlier this month after it circumnavigated the usual licence-procuring procedure by buying a company which already had one.
Uber has 21 days to appeal loss of London licence and can continue to operate until appeal exhausted— Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) September 22, 2017
A statement from TfL reads: “TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence.
“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.
Its approach to reporting serious criminal offences
Its approach to how medical certificates are obtained
Its approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained
Its approach to explaining the use of Greyball in London, software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app and prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties”
Sadiq Khan posted on social media supporting TfL’s decision, writing:
“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.
“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.
“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.”
Uber have responded to the decision with the following:
And yes, that sound you can hear is the popping of champagne corks from Black Cab drivers.