London to ban Uber for public safety reasons

This article is more than 12 months old

LONDON: Uber was yesterday stripped of its licence to operate in London from the end of this month.

It is a huge blow to the ride-hailing app that will affect more than 40,000 drivers in one of the world's biggest cities.

Regulator Transport for London (TfL) said Uber's conduct posed risks to public safety and it would not renew its licence when it expires on Sept 30. Uber has 21 days to appeal and can continue to operate until the appeal process has finished.

"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," TfL said.

Uber, which accounts for a third of private-hire vehicles on London's streets, said it would contest the decision.

"Transport for London and the Mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice," said Mr Tom Elvidge, Uber's general manager in London. "We intend to immediately challenge this in the courts."

Uber has been attacked by London's black cab drivers, who say it has undercut safety rules and threatened their livelihoods. The US firm has also faced criticism from unions and lawmakers and been embroiled in legal battles over workers' rights. - REUTERS