Uber To Appeal Loss Of London License

Uber To Appeal Loss Of London License

London’s transport regulator, Transport for London (TfL), has yanked Uber’s license to operate in the city, prompting the ride-hailing giant to file an appeal, Reuters reported on Monday (Nov. 25).

Uber maintains it has already started to revamp its business model and improve safety.

“Over the last two months, we have audited every driver in London,” Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, told Reuters.

“We have robust systems and checks in place to confirm the identity of drivers and will soon be introducing a new facial matching process, which we believe is a first in London taxi and private hire,” Heywood added.

This isn’t the first time has Uber lost its London license. The company’s license was pulled for the first time in London over safety concerns in September of 2017.

Uber said it will appeal the decision and can continue to operate until a final decision is made.

Uber grew fast in London despite butting heads with the city’s iconic black cabs. Uber says it has 3.5 million regular users and 45,000 licensed London drivers, Bloomberg reported.

“The terrible price of transport for London’s inability to run a stable regulatory regime and Uber’s refusal to play by the rules will be paid for by the most vulnerable workforce in London,” James Farrar, chair of the United Private Hire Drivers branch of the IWGB union, told Bloomberg.

The TfL said it suspended Uber two years ago for neglecting to conduct “adequate background checks” and report crimes. It also had a problem with Uber’s “Greyball” software because it blocked the government.

“However, TfL has identified a pattern of failures by the company, including several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk,” said a TfL spokesperson.

Competition has increased in London’s ride-hailing market since 2017. Uber now faces new rivals Ola, ViaVan and Bolt.

Ola, a Bangalore-based company also operating in New Zealand and Australia, was granted a London license in July. Bolt – formerly known as Taxify – returned to London in June. French startup Kapten, which is backed by Daimler and BMW, is also getting noticed.