Uber considers next steps after losing license to operate in London

The company has gained a little more time because the government partially backed off, saying that they could continue to operate while an appeal to the decision is heard.

More than half a million people signed an online petition in less than 24 hours by Saturday afternoon backing Uber's fight to save its auto operations in London, mirroring profound economic and political disagreements in Britain.

"This ban would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers".

Transport for London (TfL), the agency overseeing the city's transit, cited Uber's "approach to reporting serious criminal offences" as a key reason for declaring the company "not fit and proper" to hold a license. "This immoral company has no place on London's streets", Steve McNamara, general secretary of London's Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, told the Guardian.

Many Uber users have to rely on the app when public transport is out of reach in London.

The choice, which Uber intends to advance, raises the likelihood that different urban communities could be encouraged to take action against the organization.

Innovation director at the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) said: "It's not in the interests of our economy, people in London and in this case, drivers, to restrict new products and services". In Denmark, Uber had talked about guaranteed benefits like paid sick time - it may promise better conditions for drivers.

Uber, which is valued at about $70 billion and whose investors include Goldman Sachs, has faced protests around the world for shaking up long-established taxi markets.

"I have every sympathy with Uber drivers and customers affected by this decision but their anger really should be directed at Uber", Khan said in a response posted on the website Saturday. "Four months ago they were told to get their act together and they didn't". More traditional services, like the black cabs or private-hire cars, are more expensive. "Those cabs must be safe, must be regulated and must be available for all".

Khosrowshahi appeared to be following earlier game plans, said Bradley Tusk, an Uber investor who advised on policy in New York City for the company.

"They have a lot more scrutiny on them now", said Reed Galen, a political consultant who worked with Uber on a campaign in Austin.

Meanwhile, rival app Lyft is reportedly looking to muscle in on the London market, with a Freedom of Information request revealing the San Francisco-based start-up had held talks with TfL and City Hall in the past year, according to the Sunday Telegraph.

  • Wendy Palmer