600000 sign petition to overturn London Uber ban


Uber may have lost its London taxi license with no small amount of drama, but it's already willing to make concessions. Uber's existing license is due for expiry at the end of this month.

The agency said the factors it considered included Uber's "approach to reporting serious criminal offences" and its use of software created to evade the authorities.

The licence expires on September 30 but Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision, and has said it plans a challenge. The appeal process itself is likely to go on for several months.

Uber's chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, wrote to staff confirming that the company would appeal against the ruling.

"That requires a dialogue we sadly haven't been able to have", he said.

But it's not just London: These sorts of accusations have plagued the company in a number of cities around the world - and experts warn that if Uber doesn't get a handle on it, it could pose a serious threat to its long-term prospects as a company. Uber additionally willfully left China in the wake of offering its business there to an opponent, Didi Chuxing. In Denmark, Uber had talked about guaranteed benefits like paid sick time - it may promise better conditions for drivers. Mayor Sadiq Khan supported TfL's decision not to renew Uber's licence over public safety concerns.

Meanwhile, the head of London's Metropolitan police's taxi and private hire unit accused Uber of being selective over which crimes it reported, telling police only about "less serious matters" that would be "less damaging to [its] reputation". They are saying that "TfL could have given the drivers a little bit more time because a lot of drivers are now out of work".

"While we haven't been asked to make any changes, we'd like to know what we can do", said Elvidge.

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"It's a technical decision that picks up the spirit of the age", said Tony Travers, an expert on local government at the London School of Economics.

Dave Prentis told Sky's Sunday with Paterson programme that Uber is a new development and "looks great on paper", but added: "What you can't ignore is the safety of the people who are being carried".

From his comments, it appears as though the ban in London could be what was needed to force the company to improve its systemic issues, including its use of Greyball software to allegedly sidestep regulators in the UK.

Uber continues to engage in a cat-and-mouse game with city officials in numerous 600 plus cities in which it operates.

"That is the fastest-growing petition we've seen in the UK this year", Kajal Odedra, UK director at Change.org, said.

Personally, I prefer black cabs with "the knowledge" to inexperienced drivers with doubtful English and a sat-nav, but then I am moderately old and moderately well-off. The city says that Uber's behavior as a company has not been "fit and proper" and that they have not taken safety seriously enough.

"This immoral company has no place on London's streets", said McNamara.