Uber has become a global institution since its introduction almost ten years ago, but the company are facing a major problem after it was announced that they’ve lost their licence in London starting from midnight tonight.
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The decision was announced by Transport for London (TfL) after they decided that they were not fit and proper to operate as a licensing operator amid concerns for the safety of customers using the app. Helen Chapman, Director of Licensing, Regulation and Charging at TfL, explained the decision:
As the regulator of private hire services in London we are required to make a decision today on whether Uber is fit and proper to hold a licence. Safety is our absolute top priority.
While we recognise Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured.
A key issue identified was that a change to Uber’s systems allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts.
This allowed them to pick up passengers as though they were the booked driver, which occurred in at least 14,000 trips – putting passenger safety and security at risk.
This means all the journeys were uninsured and some passenger journeys took place with unlicensed drivers, one of which had previously had their licence revoked by TfL.
It is clearly concerning that these issues arose, but it is also concerning that we cannot be confident that similar issues won’t happen again in future.
If they choose to appeal, Uber will have the opportunity to publicly demonstrate to a magistrate whether it has put in place sufficient measures to ensure potential safety risks to passengers are eliminated.
If they do appeal, Uber can continue to operate and we will closely scrutinise the company to ensure the management has robust controls in place to ensure safety is not compromised during any changes to the app.
Damn. Uber has got 21 days to appeal the decision, but the way she’s worded that kinda makes is sound like all they have to do is appeal and they’ll grant them the license again? I hope that they do have to put some kind of new functionality into he app because it is kinda scary thinking that drivers aren’t insured when they’re taking you around the city.
Kinda sounds like with a big corporation like Uber all they have to do is clip their fingers or throw some money at the problem and it will go away. I do remember Uber losing its licence in London back in 2017 and nothing really happened as they received a 15 month extension period and then another two month one, and this kinda sounds like this is exactly what’s going to happen here.
Really hope they get spanked though because it’s bullshit how these big ass corporations are always screwing around and nothing ever happens to them. There are a whole bunch of other ride hailing apps hitting the market so maybe this will be the beginning of the end for the original? Stay tuned.
For more Uber, check out this Uber driver accidentally picking up a prostitute. Oops.