The minicab app Uber has become a global phenomenon since it launched a decade ago, undercutting existing taxi services in cities around the world. But the company has been criticised for failing to suspend drivers with criminal records or a lack of insurance.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has backed Transport for London after it said on Monday, 25 November, that Uber would lose its licence to operate in the capital.
Khan, who faces re-election in May, said: “Keeping Londoners safe is my absolute number-one priority, and TfL have identified a pattern of failure by Uber that has directly put passengers’ safety at risk.”
”Transport for London has concluded that it will not grant Uber London Limited a new private hire operator’s licence in response to its latest application,” TfL said in a statement.
TfL said there had been a “pattern of failures”, including passengers being given lifts by uninsured drivers 14,000 times in the last year.
My statement on TfL’s Uber decision. pic.twitter.com/h8tiQeFQBH
— Sadiq Khan (@SadiqKhan) November 25, 2019
Helen Chapman, director of licensing, regulation and charging at TfL, said public safety was its “absolute top priority”.
She said: “It is clearly concerning that these issues arose, but it is also concerning that we cannot be confident that similar issues won’t happen again in future.”
Passengers reacted angrily on social media but some black cab drivers were gloating over the banning of their cheaper rivals, who they claim are nothing more than cowboys.
I am strongly against the Uber ban. I accept that there is a case to be made on the other side. But surely a decision of this magnitude should be made by elected representatives who answer to the rest of us, not by a quango.
— Daniel Hannan (@DanielJHannan) November 25, 2019
This Uber ban is wrong on so many levels. Not only are thousands of people left without a source of income. Also millions more are left with no alternative cheaper means of travel. @SadiqKhan I cannot wait until you get voted out of City Hall. You are a disgrace! #Uber
— Juan Diego (@JDWaldorf) November 25, 2019
However, some netizens have welcomed the TFL depriving Uber of license.
Everyone knows they lend their mates, relatives the licence.
Amazes me it’s took so long to be public knowledge.
Add to that the daily accidents, sexual assault claims and fraud.
Uber has to go https://t.co/nAxBd8dff0
— Adam Brooks (@EssexPR) November 25, 2019
I get that #Uber have some major safety issues that they need to fix up on, but so do the tubes and other forms of transport. There isn’t even CCTV on all tube lines, maybe we should ban them too?
— Aliyah (@4liyah) November 25, 2019
In September, Uber was granted a two-month extension to its licence following the expiry of a previous 15-month agreement but the extension was conditional on passenger safety improvements.
Uber has 21 days to appeal and can continue to operate during this time.