Wow – it looks like getting home late at night is going to be a lot less simple (and a lot more expensive). TfL has declared that the taxi app Uber will not be allowed to operate in London from next Saturday.[ id="911168235189489669"]
In a statement, TfL said: "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".
The company has 21 days to appeal, during which time it will have to implement a proper system of regulation to ensure the safety of its passengers, and its drivers. Uber claims it has 3.5m users in London and 40,000 drivers.
London's Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said that he fully supported the ruling, saying that any company needed to adhere to the rules. "Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security," he said.
Uber's General Manager for London Tom Elvidge responded with a statement saying that the company would challenge the decision in the courts.[ id="911175712412971008"]
In a dig at Khan's "London is open" slogan, Elvidge said that it was disappointing that the city was not being as open to technological advances – however, he did not address TfL's criticisms of Uber not being fit for purpose.
Uber has hugely divided opinion since it started operation in London in 2012. It has become wildly popular with London travellers who used to take the night bus, but went on to use Uber's cheap (and trackable) taxi service as an alternative to pricy black cabs and potentially dodgy minicabs.[ id="911172891554787329"]
Uber has also been heavily criticised for failing to carry out background checks on its drivers. In 2016, showing that an Uber driver was accused of rape or sexual assault roughly three times a month in 2015.
This year, the that Uber had systematically failed to report sex attacks by its drivers. Uber's Tom Elvidge said that it was up to the person involved to make a decision on whether or not to report an incident.