Uber will soon have to cease operations in London after Transport for London (TfL) concluded that the company is not a “fit and proper” operator.
The government body has decided not to renew Uber’s private hire operator licence after its current licence expires on 30th September.
Uber London Ltd has 21 days to appeal the decision and can continue to operate in the city until that process expires.
It has indicated that it will appeal.
Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, said the company’s 40,000 licensed drivers and the 3.5 million Londoners who use the app 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,” he added.
“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.”
TfL said private hire operators must meet “rigorous regulations” to operate and has concluded that Uber is not a “fit and proper operator”.
“TfL considers that 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,” a statement said.
These include the company’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and medical certificates are obtained.
However, Elvidge insisted that Uber drivers are licensed by TfL and have been through the same enhanced DBS background checks as black cab drivers.
He also stressed that the company has always followed TfL rules on reporting serious incidents, and that Uber’s technology has gone further to enhance safety with every trip tracked and recorded by GPS.
Elvidge concluded: “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.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said in a statement: “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.”
General secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association Steve McNamara said: “The mayor has made the right call not to relicense Uber.
“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.”