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Londoners woke up Friday to the news that Uber will no longer be accessible to residents in the London area. Transport for London announced it does not plan to renew Uber’s private hire operator licence in the city when it expires September 30th.
According to Reuters, London was deemed “unfit to run a taxi service” due to Uber’s “approach and conduct,” citing issues when reporting serious criminal offenses and background checks for drivers.
“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,” Regulator Transport for London (TfL) said in a statement.
Uber told the BBC that they plan to appeal, claiming this decision shows London is "far from being open” and that the city is “closed to innovative companies". Uber has 21 days to appeal and will be able to continue service while any appeals are ongoing.
The ban will allegedly leave around 40,000 London drivers without employment, who basically lost their jobs overnight.
An online petition has been created, launched by Uber urging Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, to reverse the decision. It has already been signed by tens of thousands of people in just a couple of hours.
Uber's general manager in London, Tom Elvidge said: "by wanting to ban our app from the capital, Transport for London and the mayor have caved into a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice.” He continues, "to defend the livelihoods of all those drivers, and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners who use our app, we intend to immediately challenge this in the courts."