Ilford North MP Wes Streeting welcomes TfL’s ‘courageous decision’ not to renew Uber’s London licence
PUBLISHED: 12:33 22 September 2017
Ilford North MP Wes Streeting has hailed the news that Uber’s licence to operate in London will not be renewed.
Transport for London announced the decision earlier today and said that the budget taxi firm was not fit to hold a private hire licence.
Responding to the news, Mr Streeting , who also chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group on Taxis, said it was “a courageous decision”.
“It finally draws a line in the sand to make it clear that no company, however big and powerful, will be allowed to flout our laws and regulations or jeopardise Londoner’s safety without facing serious consequences,” he said. “Uber stands accused by the police of failing to properly handle serious allegations of rape and sexual assault of passengers.
“It had to be dragged through the courts to recognise its responsibility to provide even the most basic rights and protections to Uber drivers.
“Its business model is based on saturating London’s taxi and private hire market to drive its competition off the road - that’s why major cities across North America and Europe have already banned Uber from operating on their roads.
The MP said that competition and innovation is welcome and encouraging in London but everyone must abide by the rules.
However, Tom Elvidge, London’s Uber general manager, said the decision shows that the capital is closed to new ideas.
“Uber operates in more than 600 cities around the world, including more than 40 towns and cities here in the UK.
“This ban would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers.”
Uber have confirmed they will appeal against the decision in court, saying it wants to defend the livelihoods of its drivers and consumer choice.
Keith Prince, Havering and Redbridge London Assembly member, told the Recorder: “Personally, I’m delighted with the decision, but I know there are many people who are concerned that TfL’s ruling today goes against the principles of a free market.
“If there are safety concerns, then they should be reviewed and action should be taken, but I’m not sure that shutting down an entire business is the best way to go about it.”
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