Uber loses London licence in shock TfL decision
Transport for London says Uber demonstrated ‘lack of corporate responsibility’
Transport for London has said it won't renew Uber’s license to operate in the capital, in a surprise announcement today that criticised the tech giant for a “lack of corporate responsibility”.
“TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence,” TfL said.
Uber had applied to renew its operating licence, which expires on 30 September. The company - which has mushroomed into a tech behemoth valued as high as $70bn (£52bn), according to Sky News - will challenge the ruling, The Daily Telegraph reports. Uber has 21 days to appeal and can continue to operate until the end of the appeal process, Sky says.
Some 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers use the Uber app in London, The Telegraph says. Cars are often cheaper and easier to access than traditional black cabs, sparking a fierce rivalry between the two camps.
Uber has faced criticism for rising levels of congestion, poor conditions for its drivers, and a lack of interest in adequate criminal checks and reporting sexual offences by drivers. In its announcement, TfL criticised the company for its poor safety record and use of software to decrease transparency for regulators.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said he “fully supports” TfL’s decision.
There has also been mounting scandal over the company’s internal behaviour. In June, CEO Travis Kalanick quit amid turmoil over its corporate culture.