Uber chief apologizes for London 'mistakes' after license loss

USA ride-hailing firm Uber is prepared to make concessions as it seeks to reverse a decision by London authorities not to renew its license in the city, which represents a potentially big blow for the fast-growing company, a newspaper reported. TfL's licensing decision cites various criticisms, including Uber's approach to reporting criminal offences and how medical certificates and Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service ("EDBS") checks were obtained.

Once again although, particularly Uber has been facing backlash from various controversial actions within the company, such as not so thorough background checks on employees and frowned upon measures such as failing to report unwanted sexual advances and sexual assaults by their drivers in cities such as London. "On behalf of everyone at Uber globally, I apologise for the mistakes we've made", said Khosrowshahi, the ex-head of Expedia that was brought in last month to replace Uber founder Travis Kalanick as CEO after a series of PR disasters. Some 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers use the Uber app in London, and over Over 780,000 people have signed an online petition to "Save Your Uber in London".

On Sept. 22, TfL chose to let Uber's contract expire, giving the company 21 days-until October 13-to appeal the decision. Mr Khosrowshahi wrote: 'We will appeal the decision on behalf of millions of Londoners. London's taxi regulator, Transport for London, announced Friday that Uber's license would not be renewed.

"They have let down their drivers and customers by failing, in the view of TfL, to act as a fit and proper operator", Khan said in his latest statement. "If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport". Stating that the company shows "a lack of corporate responsibility". Mayor Kahn's political opponents have been quick to point out that he received £30,000 from the union during his campaign to be London Mayor.

Many Uber drivers have been operating illegally with no P endorsements on their licences, as Uber did not require drivers to have them.

Uber has 21 days from 22 September 2017 to appeal the decision and it has stated that it will immediately challenge the decision in the courts.

"It also sends a worrying message about the unpredictable nature of regulators (and the perception they may be politically motivated) just at the time when London needs to attract further innovation and investment".

"This was one of the unusual things around the TfL notice yesterday is they are the ones who do all of the checks and license the drivers".

Sky News has learnt that the world's biggest ride-hailing app has appointed a top firm of boardroom headhunters to fill the new post in an effort to fix relations with regulators and politicians.

  • Wendy Palmer