TfL has stripped Uber of its London operating license in an unexpected ruling that will put 40,000 people out of work.
The current license held by Uber is set to expire on the 30th of September, with TfL deciding not to reinstate the ride hailing company’s license on a basis of failure to comply with safety regulations.
Uber will be barred from operating within the boundaries of the M25, delivering a shocking blow to the company still suffering a damaged image.
Citing criminal offences, obtaining medical certificates and its approach to checks of the Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service were among the reasons for withholding the new license.
London’s transport body has faced mounting pressure from the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association and unions including the GMB trade union, with traditional cab services standing in ferocious opposition to the cheaper alternative provided by Uber.
The official document put to Uber by TFL said: “TfL’s regulation of London’s taxi and private hire trades is designed to ensure passenger safety. Private hire operators must meet rigourous regulations, and demonstrate to TfL that they do so, in order to operate. TfL must also be satisfied that an operator is fit and proper to hold a license… TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license.”
This year Uber’s reputation has been dragged down by major grievances regarding discrimination, alleged theft of Waymo secrets, and sexual harassment. These damning instances were widely covered in the media, and have been extremely detrimental to the business.
Board level problems have also ensued, with Travis Kalanick stepping down from his lead role as chief executive. This was then followed by Kalanick being struck by a lawsuit issued by a major investor in the company. The allegation pointed to Kalanick having strengthened his position by placing his own allies on the board of the company.