Chances are, at the present moment if you are someone who dreads driving yourself, a student late for an art class, a workaholic rushing to home to check an urgent post-work E-mail, a housewife getting late for a social soiree, a media photographer frequenting the 10 Downing Street for work, or for that matter, social media star who shoots videos all around London, the following piece of news may not break you into a smile: Uber will not operate in London.
Yes, that is right. Soon, it appears that Uber will not operate in London anymore. So what could be the reason behind all of this?
Uber will not operate in London in the times to come or as they say, in the imminent future. This could be a big blow for around 24% of the company’s business comes from a bracket of five cities, that include London.
In a breaking piece of news covered by the revered BBC, the Transport for London confirmed that Uber will not operate in London having just lost the licence to operate in the renowned British capital.
The regulator for automotive taxi services and ride-sharing facilities shared that Uber, among the most famous taxi apps out there, does not hold a ‘fit and proper’ licence. But the latest development does come with a pinch of salt because of the fact that of late, Uber did make some changes, for the better, to its operations.
The first time that Uber faced a challenging situation pertaining to its licence was back in 2017. Two years back in time, it had initially lost its licence. But immediately, thereafter, it had been granted an extension on two occasions, the most recent of which expired recently on Sunday, i.e., November 24, 2019.
But there’s also some major respite for the firm. Until the firm gets a renewal on its licence, it can operate in the city. But should it actually transpire that Uber doesn’t get a green signal to operate in London, then it would obviously deal a major blow to the business affairs and day to day workings of the firm.
This is down to the fact that there are, no fewer than 45,000 drivers work for Uber in the city of London. While the possible outcome, which could turn into a certainty since it’s not the first time that Uber has failed to meet safety requirements, could lead to several losing their jobs, it could also spell some trouble to the company’s balance sheet since London is among the five biggest markets for the company.
Explaining its decision not to renew, TfL said it had identified a “pattern of failures” that placed passenger safety and security at risk.
Meanwhile, the BBC elaborated on why it seems that Uber will not operate in London.
There is a pattern of failures from the end of the company that has resulted in a situation where the licence hasn’t been renewed. These included a change to Uber’s systems which allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts.
It meant at least 14,000 fraudulent trips were carried out in London in late 2018 and early 2019, TfL said.
The regulator also found dismissed or suspended drivers had been able to create Uber accounts and carry passengers, “compromising passenger safety and security”.