'WE ARE ASTOUNDED' - Uber comes out fighting over ban amid mounting customer anger


Uber come out fighting over ban as 187,000 sign petition backing firm amid mounting customer anger

Uber employs 40,000 drivers in London alone - but TFL has deemed it 'not fit and proper' to hold a licence

22nd September 2017,Updated: 22nd September 2017,

UBER has come out fighting after being stripped of its licence - as more than 187,000 fuming customers sign a petition to keep the app alive in London.
Transport for London announced this morning that the company will not be given another private hire operator licence after its current one expires on September 30 over safety fears.

They said Uber in London is "not fit and proper" to hold the licence but the firm is going to appeal the decision and will be able to operate in the capital until the process is over.
If they lose the appeal, Londoners will no longer be able to get an Uber - but the move will be welcomed by black cab drivers who have long campaigned against the private hire company.
Uber has since urged its London users to fight the decision as 40,000 drivers - the equivalent of the population of Dover in Kent - will lose their jobs.
There are currently 3.5 million passengers in London using the app - just under half the population of the capital.
More than 187,000 people have already signed a petition set up by Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, calling on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan to make a U-turn on the plans.
The company also sent out an email to its London users who are as "astounded" by the decision as Uber are.

Black cab drivers celebrate the Uber decision by Transport for London
It said: "By trying to ban the app from the capital, the Mayor and Transport for London have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice.
"Not only will this decision deprive you of the choice of a convenient way of getting about town, it will also put more than 40,000 licensed drivers who rely on our app out of work."
Fuming customers also slammed the move on social media - with some calling on TfL to make the night Tube more frequent instead.
@foodieflo1985 said: "Are TfL going to speed up the night tube now?? How will people get home safely if #uber isn't there?! Black cabs are too expensive".
More than 33,000 people have already signed a petition set up by Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London
 Uber has also written to its drivers in London, urging them to sign the petition
Uber has also written to its drivers in London, urging them to sign the petition
@SteveCross91OF wrote: "Monitored journey, License plate, face and name saved, Estimated fair upon arrival but yet this is seen as ‘Unsafe’. Pathetic #Uber".
@NenehTrainer fumed: "If you’re going to end #Uber then make the tubes 24 hour, 7days per week. And black cabs half in price. What a joke of a city. @TfL".
@powell6269 said: "Loosing #Uber makes london more unsafe for young people, especially students who can't afford the ridiculous rates of black cabs."
@Mrkc999 wrote: "Well done @MayorofLondon - Thanks for taking choice away from Londoners and putting thousands of drivers out of a job.#Uber".
Uber users in London also went into a meltdown over the move on social media with a string of memes showing actors crying in various movie scenes.
 People were quick to react to the decision by TfL on social media
People were quick to react to the decision by TfL on social media
 One Twitter user shared an image of Kim Jong-Un hugging an officer and wrote: 'Black cab drivers right now'
One Twitter user shared an image of Kim Jong-Un hugging an officer and wrote: 'Black cab drivers right now'
 The decision has been slammed by furious Londoners on Twitter
The decision has been slammed by furious Londoners on Twitter
TFL said earlier today Uber's conduct "demonstrates a lack of corporate responsibility on issues which have potential public safety and security implications".
They outlined a number of issues - including the company's approach to reporting serious criminal offences.
If you're worried about losing Uber maybe try an alternative like Taxify instead
Mayor of Sadiq Khan said of the decision not to issue Uber with a licence: "I want London to be at the forefront of innovation and new technology and to be a natural home for exciting new companies that help Londoners by providing a better and more affordable service.
"However, all companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect - particularly when it comes to the safety of customers. Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.
"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.
"Any operator of private hire services in London needs to play by the rules."
Uber said in a statement they would challenge the decision in court and said the ban shows London "is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers".
They added: "By wanting to ban our app from the capital Transport for London and the Mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice. If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport.
"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.


Ever since it launched in 2009, Uber has had to fight regulatory and legal battles all over the world.
By 2015 they had been embroiled in at least 70 different legal challenges.
The firm's dramatic growth and comparatively low prices have made them tough competition for traditional cab firms.
In London, drivers don't need to pass The Knowledge - a test of the capital's geography which can take black cab drivers years to learn.
Other controversies involving Uber involve the safety of passengers, strange routes taken by drivers and the over-charging of customers.
In February, it was reported that a man hoping to nip home to Croydon from Brixton ended up travelling via Bristol and was charged £440 by the app.
And, it isn't just passengers who have had grievances.
In March, Uber boss Travis Kalanick was filmed having an angry row with an Uber driver who moaned to him that the firm was bankrupting him.
Then on June 3 it came under fire on social media, with outraged users accusing the company of profiting from the terror attack on London Bridge.
The firm, which allows riders to hail cabs with their smartphones, upped journey costs with surge prices around the affected area, where seven were killed and 48 hospitalised by terrorists armed with knives.
But Uber has responded insisting that fare surges were stopped as soon as it learned about the terror attack.
"Drivers who use Uber are licensed by Transport for London and have been through the same enhanced DBS background checks as black cab drivers. Our pioneering technology has gone further to enhance safety with every trip tracked and recorded by GPS.
"We have always followed TfL rules on reporting serious incidents and have a dedicated team who work closely with the Metropolitan Police."
Uber is currently under criminal investigation in America over the use of "Greyball", a software tool it used to deny rides to people it suspected were police officers or other authorities.
The company mentioned the tool in their statement - saying "an independent review has found that ‘Greyball’ has never been used or considered in the UK for the purposes cited by TfL".
Uber were backed by David Leam, of London First, which campaigns for business in the capital, who said Londoners will see the decision as "Luddite".GETTY IMAGES - GETTY
The decision wasn't welcomed by business experts
The Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed (IPSE) also slammed the decision as it will put "tens of thousands of hardworking, honest and dedicated self-employed drivers out of work".
Chris Bryce, IPSE CEO said: “TfL’s decision not to renew Uber’s licence is perverse. It is a bad move for London’s travellers and a disaster for people using the app to make a living.
"The vast majority of drivers who use the Uber platform are self-employed individuals who will now struggle to put food on the family table. Many of the drivers are tied in to lease deals on their cars and they will be incurring costs without a way to earn a living.
“This seems like a politically-motivated decision which totally ignores the many thousands of men and women who earn a living through the Uber app, and runs counter to what should be at the heart of Sadiq Khan’s political agenda: ensuring the wellbeing of ordinary hardworking people.
“We call on Sadiq Khan to think again, revoke his support for this decision and intervene to ensure drivers will be able to continue working. The self-employed simply want to earn a living without having to rely on the state.”GETTY IMAGES - GETTY
The move has been welcomed by those who have campaigned against Uber in London - including the drivers' union GMB.
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
“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.
“This decision vindicates our campaign and should be a wake-up call to a company that has for far too long been in denial."
Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association said: "The Mayor has made the right call not to relicense Uber. Since it first came onto our streets Uber has broken the law, exploited its drivers and refused to take responsibility for the safety of passengers.
"We expect Uber will again embark on a spurious legal challenge against the Mayor and TfL, and we will urge the court to uphold this decision. This immoral company has no place on London's streets."
While Shelley Harnett who runs the Save Our Black Taxi Facebook page said: “I feel speechless but want to shout from the roof tops at the same time!!
“This is just THE BEST NEWS!!!
“Have goosebumps and feel very emotional! Be lucky all you Black Cabbies out there! Today is our day!! Sense and justice has for once won!!
“Stronger together."
Cabbies have long campaigned against Uber in London
Bookies were also quick to react to today's decision - with Ladbrokes giving 3/1 odds TfL will perform a U-turn and allow Uber back on the streets of London.
While William Hill are odds on that TfL will uphold their decision at 4/6 - and 11/10 they reverse it.
Last month Uber was accused by police of allowing a driver who sexually assaulted a passenger to strike again by not reporting the attack - along with other serious crimes.
Inspector Neil Billany of the Metropolitan Police's taxi and private hire team suggested the company was putting concerns for its reputation over public safety.
A string of serious crimes it allegedly failed to report included more sexual assaults and an incident in which a driver produced what was thought to be pepper spray during a road-rage argument.
The ride-hailing company investigated 215 claims, including sexual harassment and misconduct. As a result, it fired 20 people and reprimanded more than 40 others.
Uber suspended its services in Bulgaria last year after being accused of "unfair trade practices".
It was forced to pull out of Denmark in 2014 and it will soon be completely banned in Italy.


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