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British regulator denies Uber license to operate in London

By Don Jacobson
British regulator denies Uber license to operate in London
Monday's ruling barred the ride-hailing company from operating in London over "breaches" it said put riders' safety at risk. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 25 (UPI) -- Ride-hailing giant Uber lost its license to operate in London Monday after a decision handed down by the city's transport regulator.

Uber's request to renew its private operator license was denied by Transport for London in the ruling, which cited "a pattern of failures by the company including several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk."

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Uber had been operating its ride-hailing service in London under a temporary license since September, when TfL gave it more time to address several issues of concern. These included "allowing unauthorized drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts," which it asserted can allow unlicensed and uninsured drivers to operate in the city.

Ultimately, however, the regulator said it didn't "have confidence that similar issues will not reoccur in the future, which has led it to conclude that the company is not fit and proper at this time."

Uber official Jamie Heywood said in a statement the decision was "extraordinary and wrong" and that the company will appeal the decision.

"We have fundamentally changed our business over the last two years and are setting the standard on safety," Heywood said. "TfL found us to be a fit and proper operator just two months ago, and we continue to go above and beyond."

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London Mayor Saddiq Khan supported the decision, saying in a Tweet, "keeping Londoners safe is my absolute number-one priority, and TfL have identified a pattern of failure by Uber that have directly put passengers' safety at risk."

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