Could Uber lose their licence in other parts of the UK?
By Joe Harker
Taxi app Uber has lost the licence to operate in London for the second time, with Transport for London citing "repeated safety failures" as evidence that they were not "fit and proper".
Uber lost their London licence back in 2017 but were granted two extensions to show they could change their ways, the most recent extension expired on Monday.
It's a blow to Uber, but could it spread to other areas of the UK and see more cities rejecting the popular app?
The Times reports Manchester might follow London in revoking Uber's licence.
Manchester city council have called the US based taxi app for a meeting and said licencing rules were being "undermined" by the large amount of Uber drivers working in the area at a "much lower" standard than other taxi firms.
TfL brought the hammer down on Uber because security loopholes allowed at least 43 unauthorised drivers to pose as legitimate operators and pick up passengers. At least one of the unauthorised drivers had been cautioned for distributing indecent images of children.
A number of local authorities said they would be reviewing their own stance on Uber after the London licence expired with Brighton, Birmingham, Portsmouth, Bristol, Glasgow, Leeds, Leicester and Southampton all reconsidering the app.
If more areas start to ban Uber then the taxi app could soon find itself shut out of essentially all of the UK.
The Counter Claim:
Uber has a 21 day grace period to appeal for another extension or against revocation, and it can operate until the legal proceedings have come to an end.
It's not going anywhere soon and Uber will almost certainly support a legal challenge in order to maintain their foothold in London. They don't want a trickle to become a flood.
Besides, legal wrangling in London is only one of their worries. The business has lost $6.4 billion in the past six months and since being floated on the stock exchange its share price has dropped by around 30 per cent.
It hasn't ever really been profitable and Uber has thus far failed to prove to investors that taxi apps can turn a consistent profit. Lots of people use Uber but they appear to he haemorrhaging money so the business model doesn't seem to work.
London is one of the few places they operate where they actually make some money. To get kicked out would be a damaging blow they will want to do everything to avoid.
Uber has around 45,000 drivers in London whose futures are in doubt, while it operates in 40 towns and cities across the UK.
TfL are worried that at least 14,000 rides taken on the app were unlicenced, uninsured and with a driver the customer was not expecting to be picked up by.
Uber will appeal the decision to revoke their London licence, making it a legal struggle they will have to win to avoid the risk of being rejected in other parts of the UK.