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More than 700,000 people sign petition calling for Uber's licence to be reinstated

Revoked: Uber says it plans to appeal the shock decision. (Rex)
  • Uber has urged people to sign a Change.org petition to ‘express their disbelief’ at the system. 
  • A spokesperson said the company is ‘always looking to improve service’ for drivers and passengers and hopes that people will work to ‘Save your Uber’. 
  • Ride-sharing app has licence revoked in London over ‘public safety and security implications’
  • Minicab app banned due to ‘its approach to reporting criminal offences’
  • Uber has vowed to appeal the decision – but must do so before October 13
  • Taxi company employs 40,000 drivers in London and is used by 3.5 million passengers
  • Sadiq Khan backs TfL decision, saying all London companies ‘need to play by the rules’
  • Black cab bosses applaud decision and say Uber ‘has no place on London’s streets’

Earlier this morning, Transport for London revoked Uber’s London licence, meaning the taxi company might no longer be able to operate in the capital when their existing license expires on 30 September.

As news spread, people took to the Internet to express their shock at the ruling. In around two hours since the news was announced, a Change.org petition calling on Sadiq Khan and TfL to retract the ban has been signed by more than 700,000 people.

The decision comes as TfL update their fees for operating licences based on the size of private hire firms’ costs.

They released a statement on Twitter, detailing the shock ruling.

The ride-sharing taxi app hit back after the shock ruling with its own statement, saying the decision would ‘show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies’.


Mayor of Sadiq Khan said of the decision not to issue Uber with a licence: ‘All companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect – particularly when it comes to the safety of customers.

‘Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.’

There had been growing speculation that the app could be banned from London.

UBER – A HISTORY OF CONTROVERSY:

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This is the letter from a Met police inspector that claimed Uber failed to report sexual assaults

Opponents of the firm claim it causes gridlocked roads and does not do enough to regulate its drivers. Since its four-month licence given by TfL in May, it has faced legal challenges from the GMB union and Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association.

The GMB Union hailed Friday’s decision as a “historic victory”.

“As a result of sustained pressure from drivers and the public, Uber has suffered yet another defeat – losing its license to operate in London,” Maria Ludkin, GMB’s legal director said.

Labour MP Wes Streeting, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Taxis, said: ‘This is a courageous decision by the Mayor and Transport for London, finally drawing a line in the sand to make it clear that no company, however big and powerful, will be allowed to flout our laws and regulations or jeopardise Londoners’ safety without facing serious consequences.

‘It had to be dragged through the courts to recognise its responsibility to provide even the most basic rights and protections to Uber drivers. Its business model is based on saturating London’s taxi and private hire market to drive its competition off the road.’

Uber enables users to book cars using their smartphones, and is available in cities across the UK.

Some 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers use the Uber app in London.

However, there are at least five other lift-sharing options available in the city, including Addison Lee, Taxify, Gett and more.

Matteo de Renzi, UK Managing Director of Gett, said: ‘Any Londoner looking for a safe and secure way to get around can trust Gett to do that at the touch of a button. Gett has the highest rated Black cab drivers in town; all trained to the highest standards which is exactly what Londoners deserve.”‘

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Last month Uber was accused by police of allowing a driver who sexually assaulted a passenger to strike again by not reporting the attack, along with other serious crimes.

Inspector Neil Billany, of the Metropolitan Police’s taxi and private hire team, wrote a letter suggesting the company was prioritising its reputation over public safety.

Black cab drivers stage a central London protest against Uber in September 2015. (PA)

A string of serious crimes it allegedly failed to report included more sexual assaults and an incident in which a driver produced what was thought to be pepper spray during a road-rage argument.

Uber said at the time it was ‘surprised by this letter’ and claimed it does not reflect the ‘good working relationship we have with the police’.

Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association said: ‘The Mayor has made the right call not to relicense Uber. Since it first came onto our streets Uber has broken the law, exploited its drivers and refused to take responsibility for the safety of passengers.

‘We expect Uber will again embark on a spurious legal challenge against the Mayor and TfL, and we will urge the court to uphold this decision. This immoral company has no place on London’s streets.’

Under the Private Hire Vehicles  Act of 1998 Uber is allowed to launch an appeal against the decision within 21 days and can continue operating ‘until any appeal processes have been exhausted’.

It added: ‘No further comment will be made by TfL pending any appeal of this decision.’