LONDON: Uber Loses License Over “Public Safety”

The BBC reports:

Uber will not be issued a new private hire licence, Transport for London (TfL) has said. TfL concluded the ride-hailing app firm was not fit and proper to hold a London private hire operator licence.

It said it took the decision on the grounds of “public safety and security implications”. Confirming it would appeal against the decision, Uber said it showed the world “far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies”. Some 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers use the Uber app in London.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “I fully support TfL’s decision – it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety and security.” TfL’s concerns include Uber’s approach to carrying out background checks on drivers and reporting serious criminal offences.

More from Reuters:

London’s traditional black cab drivers have attacked Uber, saying it has undercut safety rules and threatened their livelihoods. Uber has been criticized by unions and lawmakers too and been embroiled in legal battles over workers’ rights.

London police also complained in a letter published that Uber was either not disclosing, or taking too long, to report serious crimes including sexual assaults and this put the public at risk.

Uber said then its drivers passed the same rigorous checks as black cab drivers and it has always followed TfL’s rules on reporting serious incidents and it had a dedicated team that worked closely with London’s police.