Uber Loses Its License to Operate in London

Andrew Cummings
November 27, 2019

It comes days after rival Uber was denied a new licence to operate in London after repeated safety failures.

According to TfL, Uber has been working to combat fraud committed by drivers, but it's not clear that Uber has done enough. "With this, over 50,000 licensed drivers will be able to join Ola and provide mobility services in London", a statement said.

TfL is acting as the regulator of taxi and private hire services in London. The organization granted Uber an extension back in September to amend issues related to rider safety but appears to be unsatisfied with the company's efforts.

In June 2018, Uber London Limited received a 15-month private hire operator's license from the Chief Magistrate with conditions.

The TfL had recently revoked Uber's licence in London, after drivers were held using fake identity cards.


With this observation, TfL announced the sad news for Uber and said that they are not "fit and proper" to handle license to operate in the city.

In addition to its plan to operate in London in the near future, Ola is already operating and is competing with Uber in the United Kingdom cities of Cardiff, Birmingham, Liverpool, Exeter, Reading, Bristol, Bath, Coventry, and Warwick.

Expansion to London illustrates Ola's growing global ambitions, especially in markets where Uber, its chief rival in India, has large presence.

London is one in all Uber's prime 5 markets on the planet and has roughly 45,000 drivers within the metropolis. Earlier this year, an unregistered driver taking Uber bookings reportedly raped a woman in India. "The company has passed all regulatory audits so far, adhering to safety standards that are similar to those of TfL (Transport for London)".

Uber has faced regulatory scrutiny in markets around the USA and the world for relying on an approach that prioritized entering cities and amassing users there - and letting politicians sort out how to respond later. In March, the company paid $20 million to settle a long-running lawsuit brought by drivers claiming they were employees and entitled to certain wage protections. The firm can still operate until all opportunities to appeal are exhausted.


Jasmin Whitbread, of the enterprise group London First, described it as a "blow for thousands and thousands of Londoners and guests who depend on Uber to get across the capital".

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan expressed his support for the move, saying: "I know this decision may be unpopular with Uber users but their safety is the paramount concern".

"Over the last two years we have fundamentally changed how we operate in London", he continued.

Jamie Heywood, Uber's general manager for Northern & Eastern Europe, said the decision was "extraordinary and wrong".


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