LONDON’S transport authority says it won’t renew Uber’s license to operate in the British capital, arguing that it demonstrates a lack of corporate responsibility with implications in public safety and security.
Transport for London says the car-hailing app was not “fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license.”
It cited its approach to handling serious criminal offences and its use of software to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app, preventing “officials from undertaking regulator or law enforcement duties.”
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.”
He says that “providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.”
Uber has vowed to challenge the decision which affects more than 40,000 drivers in a huge blow to the ride-sharing app.
“TfL considers that 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.”
The final day of Uber’s licence will be on September 30.
Uber said it will appeal in court and the decision shows “the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies”.
“Transport for London and the mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice,” Uber said in a statement. “We intend to immediately challenge this in the courts.” Uber has the right to appeal the decision within 21 days.
In London, the company has faced criticism from unions, MPs and traditional black cab drivers over working conditions.
Uber has endured a tumultuous few months after a string of scandals involving allegations of sexism and bullying at the company, leading to investor pressure which forced out former CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick.
The app has been forced to quit several countries including Denmark and Hungary and faced regulatory battles in multiple US states and countries around the world.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he backed the decision.