Ride sharing app Uber loses London license

22/09/2017

Transport for London has ruled that it will not renew taxi app Uber's private hire licence after concluding it is "not fit and proper".

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TfL said Uber had demonstrated "a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications".

The ride‎-sharing app has faced numerous regulatory obstacles in markets around the world, but having its licence abolished in London is one of the biggest blows it has faced during its short history.

Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision and the final day of its current licence will be on September 30.

There had been growing speculation that the app could be banned from London. Opponents of the firm claim it causes gridlocked roads and does not do enough to regulate its drivers.

Uber enables users to book cars using their smartphones, and is available in cities across the UK.

Uber Technologies Inc announced last month that it was appointing Dara Khosrowshahi, the boss of travel company Expedia, as its new chief executive following a bitter row involving board members and investors.

Earlier this week, it emerged that Uber's fee for operating in London would rise from £3,000 to £3m if it was granted a new five-year licence, following changes to the way that TfL calculates such payments.

In May, TfL renewed the company's permit to operate but for a period of only four months, amid continued opposition and threats of legal challenges from the GMB union and Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association.

Uber now has about 40,000 drivers in London‎, and is used by about 3.5 million customers, but its rise has sparked the most significant backlash to date against a major champion of the so-called sharing economy.

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