On Friday 22nd September, the BBC reported that Transport for London made the decision to not renew Uber’s licence to operate in the city. With the licence due to expire on 30th September, events are moving quickly.
“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.
Any operator of private hire services in London needs to play by the rules.”
Following TFL's decision, a petition on Change.org for Sadiq Khan, set-up by “Uber London”, has called for the decision to be reversed.
As of Friday afternoon, the petition has hit well over 800,000 signatures.
The petition says that:
“By wanting to ban our app from the capital, Transport for London and their chairman the Mayor have given 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 millions of Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport. This decision is affecting the real lives of a huge number of honest and hard-working drivers in London.
The 3.5 million Londoners who rely on Uber to get a safe, reliable and affordable ride around the best city in the world will be astounded by the decision to ban Uber from the capital.”
Last Saturday Sadiq Khan issued a statement in response to the petition, saying:
“Transport for London (TfL) yesterday informed Uber London Limited (Uber) that it will not be issued with a private hire operator licence after expiry of its current licence on 30 September. This decision was made independently by TfL as the legal taxi and private hire regulator for London.”
He went on to say that:
““I have every sympathy with Uber drivers and customers affected by this decision but their anger really should be directed at Uber. They have let down their drivers and customers by failing, in the view of TfL, to act as a fit and proper operator.
“I suspect it will take some time before this situation with Uber fully plays out. In the meantime, I will continue my work to help support innovative businesses in London and to create a vibrant and safe taxi and private hire market.”
Where do you stand on TFL's decision? Is an imminent shut down the right step or should Uber have been given more time to fix its problems?