Some new troubles for Uber heading into the weekend: London has stripped the ridesharing company of its license to operate in the city from the end of September on.
The move will affect 40,000 Uber drivers.
The reasoning behind the move, according to reports, is the belief on the part of the regulator for Transport for London (TfL) that Uber’s conduct represented a risk to public safety. As a result, the TfL has decided not to renew Uber’s license at the end of the month. However, the ridesharing firm can appeal the decision within the next 21 days.
“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,” the TfL said.
Uber plans to 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 Tom Elvidge, Uber’s general manager in London. “We intend to immediately challenge this in the courts.”
Currently, Uber is estimated to be responsible for one-third of the cars on London’s streets. It has been under siege in London, the U.S. and in various cities around the world for complaints that it has cut corners on consumer safety and workers’ rights.
Uber has been attacked by London’s black cab drivers, who say the company has undercut safety rules and threatened their livelihoods. The U.S. firm has also faced criticism from unions and lawmakers and has been embroiled in legal battles over workers’ rights. It has had to evacuate Denmark and Holland over regulatory issues and has been forced to withdraw from some U.S. cities.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he backed the decision to reject Uber’s application for a new license.
“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,” he said.
“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.”