So TFL have finally made the decision NOT to issue a new licence to Uber. A bold/brave decision?
On the face of it, this would seem to be a fairly brave move from Tfl (backed by Mayor of London Sadiq Khan) based on the popularity of the app/service and how London prides itself as one of the world's leading tech cities. However, the reality is that whilst Uber may be an incredibly successful tech business and widely popular, they do have to play by the rules. This time being 'disruptive' in the market has gone a step too far.
In the end, TfL decided that Uber was not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence on the grounds of "public safety and security implications". The business has also been criticised previously by unions for the poor working conditions for its drivers.
This is a big win for the black cab organisations in the city and it will be interesting to see whether this has repercussions for Uber in the 600+ other cities they operate in.
Uber has announced they will appeal the decision, but for the time being other Uber competitors like Addison Lee will at least have their champagne on ice!
The decision means that as things stand Uber will not be licensed to operate in the capital from Saturday September 30, when its current licence expires. The company said it intended to immediately challenge the decision. It has 21 days to appeal the move, and if it does so the Uber app will continue to operate as normal until the challenge is finished. Its UberEats food delivery service will continue as usual, since it does not require a private hire licence.