The world’s largest taxi-hailing app, Uber will not be issued a new private hire licence by the Transport for London (TfL), meaning it would cease to operate in London from September 30.
According to BBC, Transport for London concluded the ride-hailing app firm was not fit and proper to hold a London private hire operator licence, saying it took the decision on the grounds of “public safety and security implications”.
However, Uber has confirmed it would appeal against the decision within the 21-day window, claiming that it showed the world “far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies”.
In a statement, Uber said: “Transport for London and the mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice.”
Uber’s general manager in London Tom Elvidge said: “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.”
He said Uber operated in more than 600 cities around the world, including more than 40 towns and cities in the UK.
There had been growing speculation that the app could be banned from London where some 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers use the Uber app.
BBC also reports that opponents of the firm claim it causes gridlocked roads and does not do enough to regulate its drivers.
TfL’s concerns include Uber’s approach to carrying out background checks on drivers and reporting serious criminal offences.
Throughout its short, tempestuous life, Uber has clashed with regulators around the world – and more often than not it has come out on top.
In London, despite protests from angry taxi drivers, the company has had a relatively easy ride until now.