Uber has been banned in London, and cars are about to start disappearing
Transport for London announced that Uber would not be issued with a new licence after it expires next week. Theoretically, that means you won't be able to call an Uber, when its current licence expires on 30 September.
But the ruling also allows the opportunity for an appeal, and makes clear that Uber will be able to continue to operate while that process is ongoing. That appeal period will continue until mid-October, when Uber will either disappear entirely in London or have the decision reversed.
Everyone in the capital will be banned from taking a journey with the company because TfL judged it "not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence".
The company said it had made the decision based on a "number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications". They include its approach to serious ciminal offences, its approach to "how medical certificates are obtained" and the way that it hid itself from regulators, TfL said.
It also said the company will have 21 days to appeal the ruling from the time it is given – giving it until 13 October. It can "continue to operate until any appeal processes have been exhausted", it said, but it wasn't clear whether that applied only to the company or to its licence to operate as well.
Uber confirmed that it will appeal the decision.
It's also not clear what will happen to the tens of thousands of drivers and taxis that operate under the Uber name.
Uber said in a statement that the decision would "show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies".
Confirming Uber would appeal against the decision in court, Tom Elvidge, the firm's general manager in London, said: "3.5 million Londoners who use our app, and more than 40,000 licensed drivers who rely on Uber to make a living, will be astounded by this decision.
"By wanting to ban our app from the capital Transport for London and the Mayor have caved 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 Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport.
"To defend the livelihoods of all those drivers, and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners who use our app, we intend to immediately challenge this in the courts.
"Drivers who use Uber are licensed by Transport for London and have been through the same enhanced DBS background checks as black cab drivers. Our pioneering technology has gone further to enhance safety with every trip tracked and recorded by GPS.
"We have always followed TfL rules on reporting serious incidents and have a dedicated team who work closely with the Metropolitan Police."
He added: "Uber operates in more than 600 cities around the world, including more than 40 towns and cities here in the UK. This ban would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers."
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