Uber Ordered To Leave London - Company Appeals

Uber's new boss has apologised to Londoners for their mistakes and pledged to make changes as it tries to overturn a decision to strip it of its licence there.

The Sun newspaper reported a year ago that 32 sexual assault claims were made against Uber drivers in 2015/16, more than a fifth of all claims against taxi drivers filed to British police forces.

Mayor Sadiq Khan, a Labour politician who has criticised the firm in the past, said on Monday he had asked Transport for London (TfL) to be available to meet CEO Khosrowshahi.

TfL said on Friday that Uber was "not fit and proper" to hold a licence because it had demonstrated "a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications".

Khosrowshahi also personally appealed to TfL following the decision to reject the application for a new licence, saying: "We are far from ideal, but we have 40,000 licensed drivers and 3.5 million Londoners depending on us". During this process, the American company can continue with its operation until the appeals are exhausted.

"We regularly talk to companies around the world about innovation that could improve transport in London", Hurwitz, said in a statement.

He confirmed Uber would appeal against the decision on behalf of Londoners, and he accepted the service needs to change in order to meet legislation.

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Transport for London (TfL) announced last Friday that Uber would not be issued with a private hire operator's licence once its current licence is up on 30 September.

Uber said it would challenge TfL's the decision in court. It claimed that Uber's concessions were likely to involve passenger safety and employment benefits for drivers, including possible holiday pay and limits on work hours.

The San Francisco-based company published the apology as a full page advert in the London Evening Standard.Its editor, the former chancellor George Osborne, has been accused of a conflict of interest over his £650,000 job with fund management firm BlackRock, which has a £500million stake in Uber.

Uber is far from alone in this shake-up, but it does stand out for its success in what is now referred to as a 'gig' economy - individuals using technology to facilitate paid tasks.

Uber was given a five year license to operate under London's Private Hire Vehicle's Act, which will now expire without being reissued.

Uber said 3.5 million Londoners rely on Uber for "a safe, reliable and affordable ride" and that 40 000 drivers depended on the app for their livelihood.

TfL questioned also the process through which drivers obtain their medical certificates and the practice of "greyballing", when the company uses a fake version of its app to fool regulators in cities where it is banned.

  • Ronnie Bowen