London’s transport authority (TfL) has blocked Uber’s application for a new licence due to the US-owned company not being a ‘fit and proper’ private car hire operator.
Uber’s current licence is due to expire on the 30th September and has 21 days to appeal. The company has said that it plans to challenge TfL in the courts immediately.
Numerous reasons were given by TfL to justify its decision, including a ‘lack of corporate responsibility’ from Uber due to its failure to report serious criminal offences and a lack of driver background checks. The decision was supported by employment rights campaigners as well as Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who said that all companies must ‘play by the rules’.
Uber has said in a statement that it now believed London is ‘closed to innovative companies’.
Conservative politicians have also expressed their concern with TfL’s decision to block Uber’s new licence. Andrew Boff, a member of the Conservative London Assembly, has stated that Khan is backing a ‘hugely damaging decision’ to remove a service which around 3.5 million Londoners used.
Tory MP Tom Tugendhatt further criticised the decision, stating that TfL is denying choice for the people of London, whilst removing employment for 40,000 licenced drivers.
Whilst Uber is able to continue business as usual during the 21 day period to appeal, it will have to fight the decision in court, and the possibility that Uber will cease to exist in the UK’s capital is high.