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Chauffeur industry reacts to TfL’s move against Uber

The private hire and chauffeur industry has been reacting to news that Transport for London will not renew Uber’s operating licence when it expires at the end of September.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan commented; “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. “

He added; “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.”

Steve Wright MBE, Chairman of the LPHCA said; “We have had grave concerns about Uber and its operating practices since 2012 and have constantly raised this with TfL and others, so TfL’s move justifies our anxieties. The arrival of so-called ‘technology industry disrupters’ must not compromise public safety or the integrity of operators who do things properly. We are pleased to see that TfL and the Mayor of London agree and we welcome this action”.

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.”

She added; “It’s about time the company faced up to the huge consequences of GMB’s landmark employment tribunal victory – and changed its ways. 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.

“GMB will always challenge bogus self-employment and tackling exploitation. This decision vindicates our campaign and should be a wake-up call to a company that has for far too long been in denial.”

The £51 billion San-Francisco transport giant’s license to operate in London was under review having been granted a four month extension in May 2017 and due to expire on September 30th 2017. 72% of Londoners believe that TfL should require Uber to guarantee safeguards such as minimum wage and paid holidays for their drivers, according to a poll of adults in London conducted by YouGov on behalf of SumOfUs.

Uber says it will appeal the decision by Transport for London.