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Petition reaches 275,000 signatures
A petition to save Uber in London created just six hours ago has had 275,000 signatures and counting.
TfL took the decision today not to renew Uber’s private hire licence which was due for renewal at the end of September.
Some Londoners are angry at the decision, with many defending Uber and their experiences of the service.
Greg Hands says blanket ban will 'inconvenience millions of Londoners'
Greg Hands MP, Minister for London said:
At the flick of a pen Sadiq Khan is threatening to put 40,000 people out of work and leave 3.5 million users of Uber stranded.
Uber must address safety concerns and it is important there is a level playing field across the private hire market. But a blanket ban will cause massive inconvenience to millions of Londoners, all while showing that the Mayor of London is closed to business and innovation.
Once again Labour are taking it too far and ordinary working people will pay the price for it.”
The MP for Chelsea and Fulham posted this message on Twitter:
Consumer watchdog SumOfUs said TfL’s decision “put people before corporate profits.”
Eoin Dubsky campaigner at SumOfUs, a global consumer watchdog, said:
This is an historic victory for Londoners, and for people everywhere fighting together to hold corporations like Uber to account. If Uber and platform corporations like it want to stick around, they’ll need to respect their workers and the communities where they operate.
TfL have done the public a great service today, putting people before corporate profits.”
GMB, the union for taxi and professional drivers, on Monday September 18 joined forces with global consumer group SumOfUs to hand in a 106,000 signature petition to London City Hall, calling on Transport for London to guarantee its drivers’ rights and protect the public from unsafe working practices.
More reaction from our readers
The news that TfL has decided not to renew Uber’s licence has got people talking. There has been a mixed reaction in response to the decision.
Here are some of the comments left on the getwestlondon Facebook page:
There is anger:
Hayley Lipscombe said: “Ridiculous! The uber drivers operating in London were all licenced by TFL in the 1st place so tfl should be held responsible for the actions of the small few (in comparison to driver numbers) incidents! Tfl decided these people were worthy of a licence uber only employed them on TFLs decision!!! My husbund is an uber driver the whole process & new car & insurance cost us in excess of £15k We’re now going to end up back on benefits & in debt!!”
There is disappointment:
Glendene Bovell commented: “I’ve used them so many times. Polite drivers, decent cars(you had a choice ) and no need to carry cash and my friends/family could track my journey.”
And there is joy:
Habibi Jones said: “I agree with the decision, many mini cab offices and business have been affected by uber, so yay for the little man.”
Uber should go away and look at their working practices – Caroline Pidgeon
Caroline Pidgeon AM, Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member, commenting on today’s decision by Transport for London to not renew the operator licence for Uber London Limited on grounds that it has been proved to not be a fit and proper operator, said:
This decision has not been made lightly by TfL, and indeed they temporarily extended Uber’s licence to ensure extra time was granted to fully examine the record of this company.
Passenger safety must come first. Sadly Uber has not given sufficient attention to the safety of passengers, their drivers or other road users. The evidence about their poor record cannot be ignored.
Instead of devoting so much effort to challenging this decision in the courts it would be far better if Uber went away and looked at their working practices.”
London Taxi Driver Association celebrates
The London Taxi Driver Association has been campaigning against Uber since it arrived in London in June 2012.
The drivers lobbied politicians and decision makers for years and it appears as though they have succeeded.
RMT Union says decision is a 'victory for passengers'
Taxi union RMT said it hoped the decision not to renew Uber’s licence will be the next step towards reform in the taxi and private hire industry.
After tireless campaigning, RMT general secretary Mick Cash said, the move is a “vital step in protecting the livelihoods of the skilled and experienced London taxi drivers who are being unfairly undercut by Uber.”
Law firm Leigh Day on TfL decision on Uber
Law firm Leigh Day have said they hope today’s decision by TfL, not to renew Uber’s licence to practice in London, will force the company to reconsider its approach to employment rights and the safety of its customers.
Leigh Day had threatened TfL with legal action if it did not impose conditions on Uber’s Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) Operator’s licence.
In a letter before action sent to TfL, lawyers Leigh Day, on behalf of the GMB, had threatened to file a judicial review claim against TfL if particular conditions weren’t imposed on Uber.
In particular, it argued that Uber should be required to have in place a guaranteed income scheme for Uber drivers in London to allow Uber drivers to earn a London living wage without working excessive hours.
However today’s shock announcement has seen TfL refuse to renew the licence and that the company is not ‘fit and proper’ to hold a licence. The statement from TfL also said Uber demonstrated a lack of corporate responsibility.
GMB members were also represented by Leigh Day in their successful case against Uber in the Employment Tribunal regarding the employment status of workers and their right to holiday pay and the minimum wage. This case is currently being appealed by Uber.
Rosa Curling, solicitor at Leigh Day, said:
We challenged Transport for London, as the licensing authority, over its decision to provide Uber with a licence to operate in London, without ensuring that workers’ rights are properly protected and that the company is operated responsibly within the city.
Today’s decision is a clear indication that TfL agrees; it has decided Uber London Ltd as a company is not fit to provide its services in London.”
London Assembly 'unanimously agreed
The London Assembly unanimously agreed for the Uber licence not to be renewed due to safety of Londoners.
Following TfL’s decision on Friday (September 22) this is what London Assembly chair Jennette Arnold had to say.
We welcome Transport for London’s decision not to renew Uber’s licence. The London Assembly unanimously agreed for the licence not to be renewed, unless the company improved its working practices.
Londoners’ safety must come first and the Assembly was concerned about the effects of Uber’s practices on its own drivers, other private hire operators and the London licenced taxi trade.
If Uber wants to operate in London in the future, it really must up its game, in terms of safety and its working conditions.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan's response
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has thrown his full support behind TfL’s decision to deny Uber a renewed licence in London.
He has aired his views on the Uber licensing decision and said all private hire services in London “need to play by the rules”.
Caroline Russell AM says "London was caught out by Uber"
Caroline Russell AM brought a motion to the London Assembly against Uber’s ‘sweated labour’ conditions and said workers rights should be a condition of future licences.
“No companies who have a glaring lack of concern for both their workers and their customers should be allowed to have free rein on London’s streets.
Safety concerns must be addressed properly. Uber’s irresponsible business model has left private hire drivers exploited, working long hours for low pay, and has disrupted the livelihoods of taxi drivers.
This shows that new technology can have serious negative effects on people in our city. London was caught out by Uber and must learn the lessons fast as other tech-based sharing ventures get going. New tech innovations need to be driven by public purpose and not simply for the sole benefit of private operators.
Uber needs to up its game and make its service safe for customers and change its practice so drivers no longer have to work in ‘sweated labour’ conditions which are morally indefensible and unacceptable public safety risk with many drivers working long hours to make ends meet.”
What will happen to Uber drivers?
Uber has lost its licence in a decision made by TfL due to passengers’ safety concerns.
In a landmark legal case last year, Uber lost the right to classify its UK drivers as self-employed - a decision it appealed and was granted in April.
But an employment appeals tribunal hearing is scheduled on September 27.
TfL claims "a lack of corporate responsibility"
Transport for London has announced it will not renew Uber’s licence to operate in London.
It claims the company demonstrates “a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications.”
Video on Uber losing its licence
Here is a video explaining all about Uber losing its licence to operate in London.
TfL has said the company is “not fit” to hold a private hire operator licence.
Uber licence: Statement from Andrew Boff AM
London Assembly member Andrew Boff has said the Mayor of London has made a “damaging decision” which will put 40,000 people out of work.
He goes on to address the issue of safety questioning TfL’s background checks on applicants which appears to be “failing”.
This is a hugely damaging decision by Sadiq Khan that will effectively put 40,000 people out of work at the click of a finger.
The Mayor consistently tells us London is open but in shutting down the operations of an innovative market leader like Uber he has caused immense reputational damage to our city as a global business hub.
With 3.5million registered users - almost half the city’s adult population - Uber has shown to be providing a hugely beneficial service to Londoners.
Sadiq Khan has ignored their needs and instead believed the smears and propaganda propagated by Uber’s rivals.
Yes there are elements of the industry that need tweaking, yes there needs to be a reduction of bureaucracy for black cab drivers, but snuffing out the competition at the expense of thousands of employees and millions of customers is not the solution.”
All allegations around passenger safety, especially those alleging assault, have to be taken seriously and referred to the police but I would expect the same standard to apply to all operators.
In addition, TfL must answer questions about why its background checks on licence applicants appear to be failing. Uber provides the platform but it is TfL that conducts checks on the drivers.”
RMT Union welcome TfL decision
Taxi union RMT today welcomed Transport for London’s ruling that Taxi app firm Uber will not be issued with a private hire operator licence renewal.
RMT General Secretary Mick Cash said:
Uber has consistently failed to reach acceptable standards of service, safety and security and we applaud this decision which is a victory for passengers and also a vital step in protecting the livelihoods of the skilled and experienced London taxi drivers who are being unfairly undercut by Uber.
This is a success for our campaigning and all those who work in the trade and must be a stepping stone to end the deregulation in the industry which has created such chaotic, unsafe and exploitative conditions.
The next steps should include the introduction of a statutory definition of plying for hire and also for MPs to get behind the Private Members Bill put forward by Daniel Zeichner MP to reform the taxi and private hire industry.”
Uber has said it will take TfL to court after its licence to operate in London was stripped.
The decision was announced on Friday (September 22) in response to TfL’s decision.
Read our full story on Uber’s appeal here: http://www.getwestlondon.co.uk/news/west-london-news/uber-banned-company-take-tfl-13658868
Looking back at Uber in the news
Getwestlondon reported how Assembly members were “appalled” at some of Uber’s working practices, earlier this year.
The London Assembly unanimously voted to ask Sadiq Khan not to renew Uber’s licence unless the company improves working practices.
The Mayor of London recently renewed the digital cab service’s private hire licence from May 2017 to September 2017, despite concerns over driver welfare, reports of sexual assault and others.
WATCH as London Assembly passes motion to force Uber to change employment practices:
Uber to appeal TfL decision
Uber has vowed to appeal after Transport for London said it will not be issued with a new licence and was “not fit and proper” to operate in the capital.
TfL said it took the decision on the grounds of “public safety and security implications”.
But Uber, which is used by 3.5 million people and 40,000 drivers in London, hit back, saying it would appeal and claiming the move “would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies”.
Reaction from our readers
There are the pro Uber users...
Nicole Wickham said: “Uber is brilliant and we have never had a problem with them. Fantastic app as well plus food delivery is good and at least you know the cost of a journey. This country is just so backwards.”
Paul Dixon said: “I’ve never had a problem with them, if they can’t operate I’ll just end up getting the bus or train, only used them because they were faster & cheaper than normal cabs.”
And those who welcome the decision...
Debbie Ward said: “Good, black taxi drivers didn’t learn the knowledge for no reason......”
Suzanne Hogarth said: “Good. What a relief ��perhaps my area LHR will become a bit more civilised again.”
Jenny Hg Walker commented: “I would never use them feel unsafe.”
GMB responds to Uber decision
Maria Ludkin, GMB Legal Director, said:
This historic decision is a victory for GMB’s campaign to ensure drivers are given the rights they are entitled to - and that the public, drivers and passengers are kept safe.
As a result of sustained pressure from drivers and the public, Uber has suffered yet another defeat - losing its license to operate in London.
It’s about time the company faced up to the huge consequences of GMB’s landmark employment tribunal victory - and changed its ways.
No company can be behave like it’s above the law, and that includes Uber. No doubt other major cities will be looking at this decision and considering Uber’s future on their own streets.
GMB will always challenge bogus self-employment and tackling exploitation.
This decision vindicates our campaign and should be a wake-up call to a company that has for far too long been in denial.”
Transport for London (TfL) has today (Friday 22 September) informed Uber London Limited that it will not be issued with a private hire operator licence after expiry of its current licence on 30 September.
TfL’s regulation of London’s taxi and private hire trades is designed to ensure passenger safety. Private hire operators must meet rigorous 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 licence.
TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence.
TfL considers that Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications.
- Its approach to reporting serious criminal offences.
- Its approach to how medical certificates are obtained.
- Its approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained.
- Its approach to explaining the use of Greyball in London - software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app and prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties.
The Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 includes provision to appeal a licensing decision within 21 days of it being communicated to the applicant.
Uber London Limited can continue to operate until any appeal processes have been exhausted.
No further comment will be made by TfL pending any appeal of this decision.
TfL will not renew Uber's licence
TfL has today informed Uber that it will not be issued with a private hire operator licence.
The announcement will mean there will be no Uber services operating in London after the current licence expires on September 30.