London regulators have just rejected Uber’s request for a five-year license to operate within the city’s limits. The ride-hailing service will not be (legally) available in the city starting next week.
The Transport For London (TFL) refused to renew the U.S. company’s private hire license which expires Sept. 30. The TFL declined to renew the license amid mounting pressure from licensed cab drivers operating in London.
Business Insider had anticipated the outcome since taxi drivers have always opposed Uber because its on-the-spot drivers put them out of business without having to pay any fees and without any knowledge of the city’s roads.
What’s more, the public is concerned about the many safety issues posed by Uber drivers, with many not trusting the company’s background checks of its partners. There are countless reports of Uber drivers stalking and even sexually assaulting their customers worldwide.
Uber Raises Serious Safety Concerns
Some members of the British Parliament are pushing for a bill to ban the app in the country entirely following reports that the taxi service had failed to report all the instances of sexual assaults on riders. The British MPs recently deemed the firm an “unfit and improper operator”.
The TFL sided with the MPs and argued that the recent refusal is due to Uber’s failure to accurately report “serious criminal offense”. The agency also criticized the company for the way it obtains medical certificates and the Enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) checks.
Uber will be able to appeal the decision within the next 21 days.
Shortly after the decision was announced, Uber’s GM for London Tom Elvidge criticized the TFL for putting thousands of drivers out of work and stripping millions of Londoners of a convenient means of transport. Elvidge added that the company plans to challenge the decision in court.
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