Uber has been stripped of its licence to operate in London following a shock decision by Transport for London. The announcement was made on Friday in a move that could remove thousands of the company's private hire drivers from the capital.
The taxi-hailing app is the biggest of its kind in the world, with over 40,000 drivers in the capital, and over 3.5 million Londoners said to use the service. However TfL says that Uber had demonstrated "a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications".
TfL will not renew Uber's licence to operate in London
A statement posted on Twitter, revealed that these include: "Its approach to reporting serious criminal offences" and "its approach to how medical certificates are obtained". Another concern was over its use of software called Greyball, which can be used to "block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app and prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties".
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The US-based company has been told that TfL will not renew its current licence once it expires on Saturday 30 September. However the firm has 21 days to appeal and will be allowed to continue to operate during the legal process.
Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision
The news came a shock to Londoners, with #Uber trending on Twitter within minutes of the announcement being made. "How will people get home safely now if #uber isn't there?! Black cabs are too expensive," one person tweeted. Another commented: "How can London be a 21st century city if it crushes 21st century innovation & new business models at the behest of a union?"
However others took the opportunity to congratulate the London black cab drivers who had been campaigning against Uber. "To all London Cabbies who have been raising awareness of #Uber for years - well done," they wrote.
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