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> Uber banned in London
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Brett-Butler
post Sep 22 2017, 05:23 PM
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Bad news for fans of app-based taxis in the UK's biggest city, as Uber's licence to operate has been revoked in London. From the BBC -
QUOTE
TfL concluded the ride-hailing app firm was not fit and proper to hold a London private hire operator licence.

It said it took the decision on the grounds of "public safety and security implications".

Confirming it would appeal against the decision, Uber said it showed the world "far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies".

TfL's concerns include Uber's approach to carrying out background checks on drivers and reporting serious criminal offences.
What does the ruling mean?

Uber's current licence is due to run until 30 September.

It has 21 days to appeal against TfL's decision and can continue to operate while any appeals are ongoing.

Some 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers use the Uber app in London.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: "I fully support TfL's decision - it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners' safety and security."

Taxi drivers have been campaigning against Uber, such as engaging in this "go slow" protest in 2014

Fred Jones, head of cities for Uber across the UK and Ireland, told the BBC Uber drivers had to pass the same safety checks as black cab and mini cab drivers in London.

There had been growing speculation that the app could be banned from London.

Opponents of the firm claim it causes gridlocked roads and does not do enough to regulate its drivers.

But one driver with Uber in London said: "I don't think it is a fair decision. Uber offers a flexible schedule, and a weekly income."


I'm a big fan of Uber, although I don't tend to use it in London (I prefer the Underground), but this is a big blow to the people who use Uber, as well as its drivers. One imagines that one big consequence of this is that other taxi companies in London will jack their prices way up, now that they no longer need to compete with Uber. It will also be interesting to see if there will be any political ramifications within London as a result, as Labour seem to have welcomed the decision, and it seems like something the Conservatives may take on as a "cause celebre", trying to frame themselves as on the side of the people be siding with Uber against TFL's decision.

What are your thoughts on Uber being removed from London?
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Rooney
post Sep 22 2017, 05:53 PM
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Personally I suspect Uber will appeal the decision, make the necessary changes required and be allowed to operate. Something quite similar happened in my city.

The fact is consumers are the losers here. Most places I have been, Uber is far cheaper. Until taxi companies start making their prices more competitive and easy to use then the consumers are the ones who lose.
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Doctor Blind
post Sep 22 2017, 06:04 PM
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QUOTE
Uber's general manager in London Tom Elvidge said: "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."


Note that he says 'those' drivers and not 'our' drivers.

Uber is far cheaper, because it doesn't employ any drivers and thus avoids all of the associated costs. Added to that it pays pitiful UK tax.
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Cursed Wombat
post Sep 22 2017, 06:20 PM
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I've never used one and I'm never really sure on them either. Certainly convenient and cheap but it seems a tad unprofessional as a business model? I'm not shedding tears or celebrating.
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Envoirment
post Sep 22 2017, 07:44 PM
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Glad to see it being banned in London. Its way of doing business is quite horrid. If it could rearrange its model so it pays proper tax and regulates those which use the app (employees basically) then I think it'll be able to get its licence back.

Generally speaking, unless you're a tourist or are doing a big shop and don't own a car, there's very little reason to use a taxi in London anyway. It's cheaper to use Buses and Trains. Heathrow has a lot of easy access via train, as does stansted airport. Then there's the rest o underground, the DLR and overground. Not to mentino an oyster works on the other lines like the southern trains and great anglia up to zone 6. London has the best public transport network in the world I believe. It'll continue to get more expansive as well with a battersea extension of the northern line, cross rail coming into operation over the next year or so, upgrades to the Thames Link services and many more upgrades to come in the future are likely (cross rail 2 for example).

In fact uber being banned could help reduce congestion a little on the roads as people will either use a normal taxi or use public transport instead.
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Qassändra
post Sep 22 2017, 07:58 PM
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As Ren says, I doubt they'll ever actually stop running in London. They'll appeal, during which time they can carry on running, make the necessary changes, and carry on.
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Doctor Blind
post Sep 22 2017, 08:03 PM
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The necessary changes of course being nothing to do with employment practices as TfL only objected to the following:

1. Its approach to reporting criminal offences to police
2. Background checks/how medical certificates are obtained
3. How it runs DBS checks
4. Use of a 'Greyballing' scheme that deceives law enforcement officials in cities where its service violated regulations

Not to mention George Osborne's beloved BlackRock have heavy investments in Uber so this will be overturned, after a brief period of appearing to assert some sort of power.
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Tawdry Hepburn
post Sep 22 2017, 10:54 PM
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They had this coming. The "approach to reporting criminal offences" thing is a big one for me and one of the main reasons I have such a grievance with the company. One of my good friends got assaulted by one of their drivers, not only did they not do anything about it, but they tried very hard to cover it up.

Realistically, with them getting away with their severe malpractice for so long it was all bound to come crashing down on them eventually but I'm not gloating - TFL have set out some reasonable guidelines on issues Uber have to rectify if they're to win back their licence. Hopefully they use this opportunity to seriously review how they operate as an organisation and brush up on their corporate responsibilities.

To the people I've seen blaming Labour for the situation Uber have found themselves in: ��
It's about time Uber are held accountable and take some personal responsibility. If it takes a heavy-handed approach from TFL with Khan's backing, then I'm behind them!


This post has been edited by Tawdry Hepburn: Sep 22 2017, 10:59 PM
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commonsense
post Sep 25 2017, 10:49 PM
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I certainly hope Uber wins their appeal. London needs Uber as it's far cheaper than black cabs. You can get assaulted in any cab.
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Suedehead2
post Sep 30 2017, 08:27 AM
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Theresa May has spoken in support of Uber - no surprise there. She has said she wants to see a level playing field between Uber and "our wonderful black cabs". I look forward to an announcement soon that Uber drivers in London will have to pass The Knowledge before they are allowed to operate. If no such announcement is made, the playing field will be about as level as a mountain range.
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Diane12
post Oct 4 2017, 07:42 AM
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I think the service itself is quite efficient and convenient, and I think the consumers are going to be the ones suffering the most from the decision to ban Uber in London. However, I also think that the drivers should definitely be paid more. That being said, how does London think it will improve the livelihoods of the 1000s of drivers who are going from earning a low income to earning no income at all?
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Brokarucci
post Oct 5 2017, 09:09 PM
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That sucks. Hope everything will be ok. Ukraine doesn't have such problem. Yet
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