Modern Marketing

TfL puts the brakes on Uber in London after denying it private hire licence


By John McCarthy | Media editor

September 22, 2017 | 5 min read

Uber has suffered a major blow from in London after Transport for London made the decision to decline it a new private hire licence. As it stands Uber drivers can operate until the 30 September.

The move could reportedly put 40,000 drivers' jobs at risk.

There has long been a conflict between the ride-hailing company and local London cabbies who feel the disruptive app has no right to operate on their territory.


Uber has been dealt a blow in London

Globally this same friction is in place. Taxi companies have burdened Uber during its global expansion in the last few years, with bans being doled out across numerous cities and countries including in the States - Austin, Alaska and Oregon (except Portland); in Europe - Bulgaria, Denmark, Hungary and Italy; in Asia -China, Taiwan and to an extent Japan; as well as the Northern Territory in Australia.

“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,” said TfL.

It added that the company was “not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence”.

Here is the statement issued by the company.

The decision is open to appeal and Uber has confirmed it will do so within the 21 day limit.

Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber London, said he was "astounded by the decision."

"By wanting to ban our app from the capital Transport for London and the Mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice. If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport.

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"To defend the livelihoods of all those drivers, and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners who use our app, we intend to immediately challenge this in the courts."

He argued that its drivers are subject to the same enhanced DBS background checks as black cab drivers, its GPS tech tracks every trip and that it has followed the TfL's rules on reporting serious incidents.

He issued the final statement: "Uber operates in more than 600 cities around the world, including more than 40 towns and cities here in the UK. This ban would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers."

The app reportedly services 3.5m Londoners. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan hailed the decision, saying it benefited "safety and security".

It comes after the company launches a UK ad offensive earlier this year, looking to win the hearts of Londoners and beyond.

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