After much deliberation over the safety of London’s community, The Department of Transport has officially denied the private taxi firm, Uber taxi service, the right to operate its taxis in London. Uber introduced the innovative taxi driver app in London in 2012. However, Transport for London has recently deemed the taxi firm as unsafe, stating it was not “fit and proper”. TFL believe Uber has neglected passenger safety and, as a result, cannot continue as a private taxi firm in London.
The taxi booking app will not disappear from UK roads and phones straight away, although the announcement from the Department of Transport confirms that this action will take place shortly. In fact, Uber’s licence will expire on the 30th September 2017 and despite their licence being officially rejected, the taxi firm’s cars can still operate until the appeals process has closed.
Over the years, the number of Uber taxis, in addition to private hire taxis, has meant the pollution in London has soared. To date, Uber has over 3.5 million users, which means that London traffic is constant. Once this private taxi company becomes inactive, black cab business is set to rise and pollution is set to decrease.
Soon after the news arrived, Uber’s boss, Dara Khosrowshahi, made a public apology to the mayor of London and London’s residents on the app’s behalf, admitting that the organisation had “…got things wrong”.
Some members of the public, as well as many Uber taxi drivers, have claimed the ban is a clear indication that London is not happy to move forward with technology and transport.
Uber driver, Gareth Jones, aired his concerns about the new changes to the taxi firm: “It’s the old ways putting the brakes on the new, and I can see both sides of it.”
However, TFL have argued this is not the case at all; it is the safety of the London community which triumphs technology. Uber ignored their duty as a “professional” firm by failing to address safety issues and report incidents properly, whereby passengers felt at risk.