The transport authority of London has made an astonishing announcement this morning. In a very British wording, it was made clear that the license to operate for Uber London would not be renewed after 30 September as they are not deemed ‘fit and proper’.
Uber is of course appealing the decision. With 40,000 drivers in Europe’s biggest city, they don’t really have another choice. However, if they lose the appeal, no Londoner will be able to get an Uber anymore. Currently 3.5 million passengers in London use it instead of a cab. You can rest assured that the black cab drivers of London’s famed taxis are rooting for the transport authority to win on this one.
The statement said that Uber: "demonstrates a lack of corporate responsibility on issues which have potential public safety and security implications".
The Mayor of London, Mr Sadiq Khan was questioned about the decision not to grant Uber another license: "I want London to be at the forefront of innovation and new technology and to be a natural home for exciting new companies that help Londoners by providing a better and more affordable service. However, 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. Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.”
Now of course regulatory issues are nothing new for Uber. Ever since their launch in 2009, they have been fighting legal battles all over the world. Currently they have lawyers arguing about 70 cases for them in various jurisdictions.
But 2017 has so far been a very harsh operating year for them, as their boss Travis Kalanick was filmed having an argument in an Uber car with a driver and one of their board members had to resign after making repeated sexist jokes.
All this is of course not helping Uber paint themselves as a ‘fit and proper’ company.
We will keep you posted on the outcome of this latest legal battle.