London stripped Uber on Friday of its license to operate from the end of September in a huge blow to the taxi app that will affect more than 40,000 drivers in one of the world’s biggest cities.
“Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications,” Transport for London (TfL) said.
The final day of Uber’s license will be on Sep. 30. Uber, which has the right to appeal the decision within 21 days. It is unclear whether Uber will be able to operate in October whilst any appeal is being considered.
In London, Uber has faced criticism from unions, lawmakers and traditional black cab drivers over working conditions.
Uber, which accounts for a third of private hire vehicles on London’s streets, said it would contest the decision. Uber’s London unit also launched a petition against the decision, saying that regulators were trying to “restrict consumer choice.”
“We are sure Londoners will be as astounded as we are by this decision. By trying to ban the app from the capital, the Mayor and Transport for London have caved in to a small number of people,” Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, said in an emailed statement to customers in the U.K.
Globally, Uber has endured a tumultuous few months after a string of scandals involving allegations of sexism and bullying at the company, leading to investor pressure which forced out former CEO and co-founder Travis Kalanick.
The app has been forced to quit several countries including Denmark and Hungary and faced regulatory battles in multiple U.S. states and countries around the world.