Published: Sun, September 24, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

London mayor: Uber to blame for loss of license in city

London mayor: Uber to blame for loss of license in city

The British capital's transport regulator deemed Uber unfit to run a tax service and said its licence would not be renewed when it expires on September 30.

He wrote in a tweet: "Dear London: we r far from ideal but we have 40k licensed drivers and 3.5mm Londoners depending on us".

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

"This ban would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers".

"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".

In an email sent to staff about London's decision, Khosrowshahi said he was "hugely disappointed in the decisions by London's Mayor and Transport for London".

As Uber vows to appeal the decision, backed by more than 140,000 people who have signed an online petition, licensing authorities in Leeds have said they are "monitoring developments", calling for stricter regulation nationwide.

The authority highlighted Uber's approach to reporting serious criminal offences, obtaining medical certificates and background checks on drivers, and its explanation of the use of "greyball" software that it said could be used to thwart regulators.

Uber won its licence to operate in Liverpool previous year - but could the USA cab hailing app face losing its licence in the city?

Last year Liverpool council granted the company a five-year licence, meaning Uber could sign up Liverpool-registered private hire drivers. It can operate until it has exhausted all appeals. He added that Uber would challenge the decision in court.

Uber's new CEO, former Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, said the company is paying for its "bad reputation", according to an internal email shared by New York Times reporter Mike Isaac on Twitter.

Khan said: "I know that Uber has become a popular service for many Londoners - but it would be wrong for TfL to licence Uber if there was any way this could pose a threat to Londoners' safety or security".

Uber operates in more than 600 locations around the world, including more than 40 towns and cities in the UK. The company says it has 3.5 million customers in the capital and almost 550,000 had signed up by Saturday afternoon.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he supported Friday's decision, saying any operator of taxi services in the city "needs to play by the rules".

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".

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

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