back to article Shock: Brit capital strips Uber of its taxi licence

Uber's application for a new taxi licence in the UK capital has been rejected. In a shock move, Transport for London today said the app biz is not "fit and proper" to hold a licence. "TfL's regulation of London's taxi and private hire trades is designed to ensure passenger safety. Private hire operators must meet rigorous …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    40,000 drivers out of work

    OMG, WHAT WILL THEY DO?!!!!

    (in response to the clickbaiting sub-headline)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

      OMG, WHAT WILL THEY DO?!!!!

      Half will do their f***ing day job instead of being asleep on it after moonshining all night for a few more quid to top up their minimal salary.

      The other half will go back from where they came from (inclusive of some who are expats from the same place I came from to the UK).

      To put it bluntly, I have spent 4+ years every weekend observing how they (in 3 different languages I happen to speak or understand) negotiate their cars to be chipped/ECU reprogrammed to turn the EGR and other emission control off. There were 3 garages next to junior's language school which had queues of 20+ cars each every weekend to do exactly that. For several years. If they are removed off the streets it will be a blessing. If Uber is removed as a side effect that will be a double blessing - Hallelujah time.

      I would have had some level of sympathy and empathy to their plight if they actually obeyed the law. As I have seen exactly how much they do it, screw that. Enforce it. And more some. So that the kids can breathe some clean air for a change.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

        Upvoting the ac bigot? Isn't this forum supposed to be frequented by the relatively brainy? That post came straight from the daily mail. Article, not comments.

      2. lglethal Silver badge
        Go

        Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

        Ever thought of reporting the Situation to the authorities?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

        Isn't this the sort of bordering on racism justification posting the Russians were placing during the US elections.

        If you are so cock sure report it to the Police and relevant authorities...your local MP and councillors would certainly have it investigated.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

          If you are so cock sure report it to the Police and relevant authorities...

          London police cannot even be arsed to check that foreign cars have proper insurance, stay within the 6 months allowed by EU regs and have a valid foreign MOT. They are the only ones in Europe that are so lax. Emission control enforcement. You GOTTA BE KIDDING.

          As a comparison - this summer I crossed the Monte Negro/Serbian border. A small two-people border crossing which is located somewhere in deepest darkest Eastern Europe next to war zone. BOTH the montenegro police and the serbs (customs in their case) had up to date info on my insurance and MOT. Online. The Serb showed it to me - expiration dates, even if I have points on my license, the lot. Everyone else - Austrians, Czech, German, Dutch - have constant ANPR + check versus that. UK - nope. How do I know it? I can read the fecking insurance and MOT stickers on the cars - several Eastern European ones still use them. I have seen my share of out of date ones around London.

          As a second comparison - German and Austrian police have had mobile emission enforcement (and used to check especially Eastern European cars and "boy racers") for more than a decade and a half. That is the first time I saw them - 15+ years ago. I suspect they have been doing it for longer. Have you ever seen a UK plod with emission control kit.

          To conclude - there has NEVER been a case in court in the UK regarding removing emission control and circumventing it is it is NOT a MOT criteria. There have been for MOT stuff. NO2 specifically - which is achieved by de-EGR-ing - never. In fact, while in theory it should be an offence as it alters the car outside its regulatory parameters, in practice it has never been enforced and no plod will try enforce it. So trying to tell plod about it is as effective as trying to talk to wall. By the way - I tried.

          1. Lee D Silver badge

            Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

            1) YOU can even look up your insurance, tax and MOT online in seconds now. I'm damn sure the UK police can and do - in London it's done at automated stations for EVERY vehicle that joins a motorway or goes into London. Every ANPR police car does the same. And all police cars can look up dodgy motors - it's the first thing they do on a stop, and they often crawl backstreets and pick out anything that looks ripe for a lookup.

            2) If you don't report it, they can't do anything. Did you report it? Or just think "They won't do anything" and then not report it? Report it anyway. If they do nothing, that's not your problem. Write them a letter that says you have concerns about X happening at address Y on a regular basis and then you're done. If nothing happens, they have more important things to worry about. I can't say that's their fault, nor that I blame them. If you're really that worried that you moan on forums, write to the council, get it into the newspapers, etc. Trading Standards will help shut them down way more than police ever will (it's a civil offence, not criminal, hence not a police job).

            3) Emissions - yeah, maybe they can't test on the road. But for sure it's illegal to modify the car. The UK police have WINDOW TINT METERS that they regularly use on the boy-racers at Southend and places. Maybe if you reported it, they might organise a raid six months into the future with random checks on customer vehicles?

            4) MOT criteria have zero correlation to road-worthiness. It says it on the certificate. You can come out of an MOT test center holding your pass certificate and be nicked for having an unroadworthy car. There's NOTHING in the law stopping it.

            5) I don't wish to dig into citing case law or particular cases as the searches are expensive, but you're talking nonsense. Hell, there are programs on TV where lorries/vans are pulled for random things and they are convicted for the modifications to make it more polluting (and window-tinting, and under-car lighting, and all kinds of things). Even UK cop shows from 10+ years ago, whether random-stops, or services-pull-offs on a mass scale.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

              @Lee D Did you even see that AC already tried reporting it?

              1. collinsl

                Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

                Telling a copper "I think you should be doing X rather than whatever you're busy with now" is not reporting it properly. Ring 101 and get a proper case generated rather than wasting the time of someone who is probably stretched beyond belief.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

              It is not illegal to modify a car so long as it does not fail MOT tests.

              EGR blanking and rechipping for economy and high NOx is perfectly legal.

              1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

                Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

                EGR blanking and rechipping for economy and high NOx is perfectly legal.

                No it's not. "You probably won't be caught" doesn't make something legal. If it was perfectly legal, the cars would ship without EGR from the factory.

                The car has to be certified as legal to use in the United Kingdom (or any other country with laws). In the UK this is the Vehicle Type Approval, and is separate from your MOT, which is a roadworthiness and safety test. Part of the Type Approval lists the exhaust emissions standard that the vehicle complies with. The current standard is for passenger cars is "Euro 6", and it sets strict limits on NOx emissions among other things. (Which standard you need to comply with depends on when the model was introduced, although if you're Mercedes or Volkswagen, it seems you can bribe your way into complying with the old type approval rules...)

                If an owner modifies the emissions controls such that their car is no longer compliant with the emissions standard on its Type Approval documents, it will be illegal to operate that vehicle on public roads. End of story.

                Whether you'll be caught and punished is a different matter, but of all the things that come out of a car's exhaust pipe, Nitrogen oxides are the most dangerous to long-term human health. They are the major cause of urban smog, which causes respiratory illness in children and the elderly. You're free to not believe in global warming safe in the knowledge that it'll take decades before you're proven wrong, but NOx pollution is much more immediate and direct in its consequences.

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

                Actually it is: Twice! DVLA and insurance both have to be informed in writing of any change "which may significantly alter the performance of the engine or gearing system". I nearly had to do this a while back because it turned out that replacing ECU counts as "significantly altering".

                Fortunately in my case it wasn't needed as ECU turned out not to be the problem.

                Hint: this law applies to electric vehicles as well so don't you go and replace lead acid on e-bike with Li-ion, this is also illegal but worst case a fine or fixed penalty only (I checked!)

              3. Alan Brown Silver badge

                Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

                "It is not illegal to modify a car so long as it does not fail MOT tests."

                Wrong

                "EGR blanking and rechipping for economy and high NOx is perfectly legal."

                No it's not. You'll find that the law says that you are not allowed to circumvent factory installed antipollution devices. As another poster pointed out, that invalidates the Type Approval for the vehicles, making it illegal to even _park_ on public roads.

          2. collinsl

            Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

            Emissions control is not within the remit of the police in the UK - it's enforced by the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency who mainly focus on trucks and other heavy goods vehicles.

            Normal vehicles are fully emissions tested when they have an MOT and are failed if they don't meet the criteria laid down when the vehicle was produced.

            In addition the police are extremely stretched for resources right now so they have more important things to be dealing with than out of date tax/MOT from cars from other countries.

          3. Ogi

            Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

            > London police cannot even be arsed to check that foreign cars have proper insurance, stay within the 6 months allowed by EU regs and have a valid foreign MOT. They are the only ones in Europe that are so lax. Emission control enforcement. You GOTTA BE KIDDING.

            Your comment was an insightful read for me, but I think you are being a bit unfair on the London police.

            Having extensively traveled across Europe by car multiple times, including the Serbia/Montenegro/FYROM/Greek borders, I can say that by and large the plod across the channel don't care that much about emissions either.

            Serbia/Montenegro has very big problems with smuggling. Because they are non EU, some things are so cheap there (Especially ciggies) everyone and their mother tries to smuggle some into the EU for a handsome profit. Due to tariffs on certain goods, just as many try to smuggle laptops etc... the other way as well (they once booked me because I had two laptops for use. Had to explain one was business, and one personal, and they actually wrote it into my passport, so when I leave the country the make and models can be checked, to make sure I didn't flog them).

            As a result their borders are one of the most locked down in Europe, and they will be thorough with checks. So while they do pay much attention and take their time, the side effect is that you can have 8 hour queues to cross the border, while they check and cross check every single detail of everyone.

            If that happened across the whole of the EU, commerce and transport would grind to a halt.

            I have also never seen an emissions check in the EU, and most Europeans who live there have also removed their particulate filters (or other emissions equipment) on their cars, and neither the plod nor their equivalent of MOT garages give a toss. Never thought I'd see people "rolling coal" on public roads in Europe, but I have, on a few occasions.

            As for checking the 6 month limit. I know UK expats who never bothered registering their cars where they moved to in the EU. Some have driven for 5+ years over the 6 month limit, without ever getting bothered by the police. Indeed as I am thinking of moving to the EU, most of my friends there already said not to worry about the 6 month limit, because "nobody really cares that much".

            Saying that, things might be different in Austria and Germany, two countries I have yet to extensively road trip on, so things could be radically different there, but the rest of the EU is not much different to the UK in that sense.

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

            So modding a car is allowed under insurance? Not sure what the insinuated racism has to do with modding cars.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

              "So modding a car is allowed under insurance?"

              It is, so long as you tell them about said mod (you have to tell them even if you swap out the crap radio for something usable), and doesn't do anything to invalidate said insurance Otherwise don't expect much of a decent response if you try to make a claim.

        2. Smooth Newt Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

          If you are so cock sure report it to the Police and relevant authorities...your local MP and councillors would certainly have it investigated.

          Not sure who the "relevant authorities" are, but the Police are far too undermanned and busy to bother with non-violent crime these days.

          And I fear you are one of those poor benighted fools who believe that non-cabinet MPs and councillors have some sort influence on anything or even give a shit.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

            "Not sure who the "relevant authorities" are"

            I think you'll find it is the DVSA, who also carry out random roadside checks, although I've only been stopped twice in my driving life.

          2. Dave Harvey

            Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

            Smooth Newt:

            "Police are far too undermanned and busy to bother with non-violent crime these days"

            Really? - it seems to me that they've effectively given up on ALL physical crime (including the violent sort) in order to concentrate on "thought offences" such as possibly causing mild annoyance to someone on the far side of the world who's never even heard of the social media on which you are considering posting.

            1. Dave Bell

              Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

              Arguing about what the Police should have been doing is an ancient tradition, you can see elements of it in a couple of Shakespeare's plays. When I was a kid, they still had village bobbies, and beat points, and there was a reason there were Police Boxes with a telephone, that didn't disappear through time and space. No radio, you see.

              Not my side of the family, but I still heard a few stories. One of my Great Uncles knew a kid who ended up commanding a squadron in the Battle of Britain. He reckoned the Germans deserved him.

              It needs manpower to pick up the gossip, to know the people who might bear watching. These days, they need daytime TV programs reporting on the dodgy to do the watching.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

        "If Uber is removed as a side effect that will be a double blessing "

        .... oh boy I can't wait to get back to the stone age where we had to wait for a taxi to just turn up randomly, or call a number that never answered, or find a taxi that didn't want to go where you were going, or would take you the long way round, or only accepted cash, or got lost or.....

        1. Kristian Walsh Silver badge

          Why Uber was stripped of its licence

          Uber lost its licence for not adequately following up on reports of passenger assault and rape, and not providing evidence of adequately screening drivers for prior violent offences.

          It doesn't matter what they charged. It doesn't matter that "Black cabs are too expensive". Uber operated a company where a driver could attack a passenger and get away with it, and so it lost its licence to operate in London.

          It doesn't matter that you, personally, never had a rapist driving any time you booked an Uber. It mattered that in the cases when people did, Uber didn't follow up on the police reports, and didn't take action against the drivers.

          If someone else started an Uber competitor tomorrow that did everything Uber did, but obeyed the actual laws of the land, properly screened its drivers and co-operated with police investigations of assault on passengers, they would not have their licence revoked by TfL.

          The usual suspects are, of course, free to assume that "Uber ignored cases of rape and battery" isn't really a reason to have a licence revoked, and that this is all a smokescreen to stop the "exceptional" people achieving their birthright as rulers of the world.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            "not adequately following up on reports of passenger assault and rape"

            I thought that's was the police were supposed to do?

            They should, however, carry out suitable safeguarding checks and keep track of any claims so that patterns can be detected.

          2. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Why Uber was stripped of its licence

            "Uber lost its licence for not adequately following up on reports of passenger assault and rape, and not providing evidence of adequately screening drivers for prior violent offences."

            In many ways it's good that TfL has drawn this "line in the sand" that Uber has fallen foul of.

            _Other_ companies have worse records than Uber (including a number of Black cabs). If TfL doesn't enforce to the same standards against those outfits too, then TfL management are about to have their heads handed to themselves on a silver platter by the courts.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

          Or you could just use the MyTaxi/Hailo or Gett etc. apps.

        3. This post has been deleted by its author

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

          .... oh boy I can't wait to get back to the stone age where we had to wait for a taxi to just turn up randomly, or call a number that never answered, or find a taxi that didn't want to go where you were going, or would take you the long way round, or only accepted cash, or got lost or.....

          ...had an app that constantly tracked you even if you weren't using it, or used software to skirt law enforcement and regulators or misled drivers about potential earnings or.......

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

            I've always considered Uber a case of Right Time, Right Place, Wrong Company.

            We have constant mobile communications and the ability to manage complex systems systems like thousands of car journeys across a city. The rise of a system like this is inevitable and also desirable (because it's more efficient). I've just always felt it was a shame that Uber were the ones to do so.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

              This is pretty much the conversation my partner and I have just had.

              Great tech, it's the business implementation that is wrong.

        5. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Uber - the real world view

          Have you ever seen some of the routes Uber drivers take?

          Here's a list of things I know from my personal experience thats wrong with Uber drivers. These aren't stories from the Daily Mail or Express, but what I have seen.

          1. Uber drivers going the wrong way up one way streets. I cycle a lot and more than once I've had an Uber driver come flying towards me.

          2. Uber drivers doing n-point turns in the middle of the A2. No indicators, no stopping, just a sudden realisation they've got it wrong.

          3. Taking cyclists out. I was cycling with a friend, the Uber driver pulled into the cycle super highway opened his door and took my mate out. He then tried to blame the incident on my mate forcycling ion the cycle superhighway and it was only because I showed up and stated I'd seen everything he backed down. Claimed he had no documents on him, so we took photos of everything including him. He didn't like that at all, but fuck him. Police got involved as my mate was hurt, and lo and behold the car wasn't in his name, it was his 'mates' and he had no insurance. The fact he'd just dropped off some passengers meant they weren't insured either if he's had a serious accident. The police were quite interested in him by this point :)

          4. Picking people up when they haven't pre-booked. Yes we can see you driving with your fog lamps on in the middle of the day. Black cab drivers are given a monopoly on picking up hailed cabs as they have to learn the knowledge, they have to have a cab of a certain age, they have to display a green badge, they have to have certain tyres on their cars, yes you can fail your MOT if you don't have the right badged tyre for black cabs even if the tyres are identical as the non-badged (and cheaper) version of the tyre. They have to do certain things, certain types of insurance etc but then they are given the state provided monopoly to pick people up in the street. However their fares are set by TfL and they do have the right to refuse a journey.

          5. Parking on red lines along the A2 at rush hour to pick up/drop people off. The A2 is a awful road at the best of time and some cunt in a White Prius sitting on the red lines as they work out what to do can cause an immediate talk back of a mile or so which takes a long time to clear,

          4. I also have noted the uplift in sexual offences and I have asked my other half not to take Uber's. Shes a grown woman and can make her own mind up, but my view is that I would rather reduce the risk and pay more than risk an Uber.

          I will note as well that I have had some of the most stupid right wing, racist loons driving a black cab. So I know they're not perfect, but most of the time I enjoy the black cab and find it far better than a mini-cab. I know my way round London so have never yet been ripped off by a black cab driver, but I'd expect it to happen. I like Black cabs as I always find a slightly different route to get from A to B.

          I have never had a taxi driver refuse to take me home and I've lived South of the river since 1985. I worked in organisations that finished work at 02:00 and would head outside and hail a cab to Tooting, Brixton and now Greenwich. Average cost between £20, £30 and £40. I would estimate that I have taken 200-300 cabs south of the river in 30 years. Not a massive amount but enough.

          Ubers model is based on a race to the bottom and a complete disregard of laws. I have zero issues with Uber providing a proper model based on drivers who can drive without relying on a SatNav to send them up the wrong way along a one way street, that actually respected the rules of the road, that ensured their drivers weren't criminals, that had the proper insurance, that didn't ask them to work all hours under the sun and didn't try to kill me on my bike.

          1. unwarranted triumphalism Bronze badge

            Re: Uber - the real world view

            Maybe you shouldn't be riding a bike on roads paid for by taxpayers. Just sayin'

            1. This post has been deleted by its author

              1. unwarranted triumphalism Bronze badge

                Re: Whats this GUI thingy?

                You've just proved my point with that foul-mouthed tantrum. If you can't behave in a civilised manner then perhaps you should not be on the road at all.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  You're still an idiot

                  Maybe you're the idiot for making stupid assertions. What has my tax situation got to do with me riding a bicycle on the road? What has my tax situation got to do with Uber drivers? What has my language, foul mouthed or otherwise, got to do with anything I commented on.

                  I've not proved your point at all, as there is no linkage between my tax situation, cycling, language or Uber. Your tenuous grasp of logic and the inability to understand simple arguments is worrying.

                  I cycle carefully howeverI am sick to back teeth of stupid Uber drivers who are so focussed on their satnav that they miss cyclists, red lights and cause crash after crash.

                  I restate my views but in deference to you I'll rephrase it.

                  You're still an idiot.

                  1. unwarranted triumphalism Bronze badge
                    Mushroom

                    Re: You're still an idiot

                    I see you still enjoy being wrong - about everything. Perhaps if you looked where you were going insted of running over pedestrians you would have a case.

                    Or perhaps if you drove a car like an adult instead of using that ridicuolous child's toy on the roads - which MY taxes pay for by the way - then maybe you would be able to understand 'simple arguments.

                    You're still a failure.

                    1. strum Silver badge

                      Re: You're still an idiot

                      >the roads - which MY taxes pay for by the way

                      Everyone's taxes pay for the roads. The so-called 'road-fund license' disappeared 80 years or so ago. There's no hypothecation.

                      1. unwarranted triumphalism Bronze badge

                        So my taxes don't pay for the roads, is that wnat you're saying? What does, then? Magic?

                        Maybe that's what the criminal thug cyclist brigade might think but that's not how things work in reality.

            2. Roland6 Silver badge
              Big Brother

              Re: Uber - the real world view

              Maybe you shouldn't be riding a bike on roads paid for by taxpayers. Just sayin'

              Do keep up, someone has to pay for the location tracking/surveillance whether it be by Facebook, Uber or the state.

              Once TPTB perfect road pricing for cars, it is only a small step to road pricing for all; step outside of your front door and get charged for using the pavement. Stay at home get charged (council tax). There will be no escape...

            3. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Uber - the real world view

              Two car household here and i ride a bike, obviously can't use all three at the same time and i shouldn't have to remember to mention the fact i also have a car if i want to mention my bike in a post, unless of course it's in The Rules.

              By the way, you may want to consider dedicated cycle routes, wear and tear on the road surface, noxious emissions and on that subject cars in the lower band(s) that pay £0 tax, my cars cost £25 and £200 annually and i use the cheaper one daily.

              Think before you post.

            4. Champ

              Re: Uber - the real world view

              >Maybe you shouldn't be riding a bike on roads paid for by taxpayers. Just sayin'

              Another example of where the phrase "just sayin" at the end of a statement predicts the low intelligence of the statement maker.

            5. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

              Re: Uber - the real world view

              You don't pay tax for roads. You pay tax based on the emissions of your vehicle. 'Road Tax' was abolished in 1947. It then became Vehicle Excise Duty, and again, the money didn't directly fund roads. Not all cars have to pay emissions tax either, so, are electric cars not allowed to use roads in your mind?

              1. unwarranted triumphalism Bronze badge

                Re: Uber - the real world view

                > the emissions of your vehicle

                I don't drive. Try again.

                > electric cars

                That is different.

        6. macjules Silver badge

          Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

          @AC Bloody hell, you wait for ever for one black cab driver to down-vote you and then 37 turn up at once ...

        7. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

          "can't wait to get back to the stone age"

          Just because it is convenient doesn't mean it's right or legal.

        8. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

          I wouldn't want to driving for 6 hours after a 12 hour shift. I certainly don't want to be driven by an Uber driver after his 12 hour shift for less than minimum wage.

          I also don't want half my cab fair being shipped out of the UK economy never to come back.

        9. Dave Bell

          Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

          As an occasional visitor to London, I have stuck with Taxis, rather than private hire. It could just be good luck that I have never had problems. I've also used Underground, DLR, and buses without problems.

          OK, that might just be good luck. Any public transport system can have something go wrong. I have seen a couple of bus breakdowns, not a disaster for me.

          Maybe we're both 3-sigma from the mean, in opposite directions.

          I do have an IT connection here. The local bus company has a web page, and their timetable pages have a "Live Updates" box displayed. It has to be amended by the IT company that runs their web page, so I can read it on the phone from the bus stop, but their traffic manager can't actually put anything there from his office.

          They've been running buses for over 100 years, and I trust them. Computers, not so long.

        10. Alumoi

          Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

          .... oh boy I can't wait to get back to the stone age where we had to wait for a taxi to just turn up randomly, or call a number that never answered, or find a taxi that didn't want to go where you were going, or would take you the long way round, or only accepted cash, or got lost or.....

          Keyword here is taxi. Uber is not a taxi company and it will never be as it would have to obey the law.

      5. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

        "negotiate their cars to be chipped/ECU reprogrammed to turn the EGR and other emission control off. "

        That's an automatic vehicle impoundment if it happens to come to the attention of the DVLA. Just saying....

        And those three garages could find themselves the focus of some interesting attention too.

    2. Lars Silver badge

      Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

      Perhaps some will start driving proper cabs.

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

      Edited. There's no Lyft in London.

      There is MyTaxi though (Hailo). That'll do instead.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

        and Gett (with two Ts) acording to GMaps

    4. steelpillow Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

      "OMG, WHAT WILL THEY DO?!!!!"

      Yeah, I mean, it's not like there are other private hire companies waiting to pick up the business.

      1. Hairy Spod

        Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

        or to put it another way, 40,000 other workers who were originally doing that work in black or licenced mini cabs are kept in work at a higher rate of pay

      2. Steve Cooper

        Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

        Maybe the legit private hire companies wouldn't want the ex-Uberites

    5. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: 40,000 drivers out of work

      What will they do?

      Stop working for an organized crime organization?

  2. rmason Silver badge

    It'll be fine.

    Don't forget whatever these uber drivers are they are definitely *NOT* employees. Nope. Absolutely not.

    Therefore one can presume these people simply carry on not being employed, only with less money.

    Mike Ashley would be proud. Zero hour contracts? A bloody luxury they are.

    1. Mark 110 Silver badge

      Are any of the competitiors up and running in London - Lyft?

      1. SK

        Lyft is North American only and even there it is limited as without a local credit card you cannot use the service (which is a fecking nuisance when you are a business traveller from afar). There is MyTaxi, but that is for hailing licensed taxis.

      2. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

        There's the Gett app, which will hail a regular Black Cab.

      3. katrinab Silver badge

        Lyft don't operate in London, however there are others that do.

        Gett, Hailo, Kabee, MinicabIT and Addison Lee are just a few of the alternatives.

  3. ExampleOne

    It sounds like a sensible and reasoned decision from a regulator regarding the behaviour of a company with a business model of side-stepping the regulations.

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      It would be nice if they knew where they were going without having to resort to SatNav. Oh yeah and didn't try and block any attempts to get them to conform with things I would have expected them to have done so anyway. Like drivers speaking English in England (Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland) https://www.theregister.co.uk/2017/03/01/uber_english_law_in_london/

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      radical approach to regulation: enforce the rules properly?

      "a sensible and reasoned decision from a regulator regarding the behaviour of a company with a business model of side-stepping the regulations."

      OMG. If that approach ever catches on in other regulatory domains, e.g. telecoms/Ofcon, BT are doomed. Doomed, I tell you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: radical approach to regulation: enforce the rules properly?

        Don't worry, BT is safe.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well done TfL

    London, like many towns and cities have plenty of 'pre-book' services that are legal, regulated and licensed.

    The Uber model is to undercut them all, drive them out of business and then bingo, you have a Uber monopoly where they raise the prices and still screw the drivers.

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Re: Well done TfL

      London, like many towns and cities have plenty of 'pre-book' services that are legal, regulated and licensed.

      Whilst I' not sorry to see Uber taken to task, it should be remembered that if regulators and licensing authorities did a good job, Uber wouldn't have the business for 40,000 drivers in London alone, and people wouldn't be clamouring to use the Uber app.

      The exact failings of regulation vary from place to place, round my way the "licensed taxis" are exclusively ancient and smelly shitheaps, often driven 24/7 by a pool of drivers, all speaking poor English, zero local road knowledge, and most appear unacquainted with UK rules of the road, soap or social skills. Whenever the police do an inspection campaign about 30% of the taxis are barred from the roads. In this situation, where the customer has no control, where regulators are totally disinterested in the standard of service provided, its hardly surprising people try Uber.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Well done TfL

        Are these London Black Cabs? If so report them.

        1. Ledswinger Silver badge

          Re: Well done TfL

          Are these London Black Cabs?

          Nope, this is well away from London. My experience of London taxis is that they're rather pricey, and arguably TfL are limiting demand, but overall they're pretty good. Unfortunately London is so overcrowded, and road planning has been shit for so long, that I end up most of the time sitting in a stationery black cab, watching the meter tick upwards.

          The best transport strategy for visiting London is not to visit London.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Well done TfL

      Sounds like what taxis (used to have) .. a monopoly... based on no competition... hence the poor service/high cost and inconvenience based on a business model that is... almost 100 years old...

    3. unwarranted triumphalism Bronze badge
      FAIL

      Re: Well done TfL

      Except that has never happened anywhere.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ben Hur Moment.......

    If this takes the fracking thousands of Toyota Preyesores off East Londons roads that'll speed up traffic for the rest of us enormously anyway.

    Whenever I see a Preyesore these days I get a flashback to Ben Hur and the Chariot race.....an incredible desire comes over me to fit wheel swords to my SUV and get these to**ers off the road.

    I have no objection to Uner drivers in principal.....but learn how to drive, understand the concept of lane discipline and for frack sake learn how to go over 22 miles per hour. We're not limited to the maximum speed of a galloping donkey any more.

    Diatribe over.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

      Isn't most of London roads restricted to 20mph these days?

      1. SpammFreeEmail

        Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

        Not on the 50mph 3 lane A13 where you regularly get some Preyesore driving in the fast lane doing 22mph.

        On neighbourhood streets no problem, however on multi lane thoroughfares if you're not overtaking then get on the inside lane.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

          Not on the 50mph 3 lane A13 where you regularly get some Preyesore driving in the fast lane doing 22mph.

          According to the highway code, it's not "the fast lane", it's "the overtaking lane" and you are perfectly allowed to do any speed you wish under the limit provided that a) it's safe to do so and b) you are overtaking someone in the middle lane.

          Having driven extensively in London and Kent, I do understand that you think the road is primarily for your own use and everyone else should get out of your way and really your vehicle should be fitted with blue lights to signal your importance, but, and I know it's a shock so you might want to brace yourself, but you really aren't special. No, I know it's difficult to understand but you're really not.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

            I would have thought it obvious I was referring to drivers who are not overtaking given the context, I'll type more slowly for you next time.

            Given the above perhaps you'll rethink your smarmy comment about me thinking I'm special? Probably not though as of course it's easy to make assumptions about others when you're too dim to ask questions first.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

              I'll ask a question:

              Why post as AC, yet refer to SpammFreeEmail's comment in the first person? AC fail rule 1 I think.

              As for typing more slowly, I suggest you do, although primarily for your own benefit. You may not realise it doesn't affect anyone else how quickly you type, because this is a text based medium, therefore people can consume it at a pace dictated by themselves, not the author.

              "Probably not though as of course it's easy to make assumptions about others when you're to dim to ask questions first."

              Secondly, it might prevent you from trying to infer other people are stupid, whilst making childish spelling errors. Or are you to (sic) dim to realise that?

              1. SpammFreeEmail

                Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

                Well talking about childish errors (it was a typo I'd already corrected by the way).

                If you're going to quote someone and then explain why they're wrong perhaps use the full quote and then you wouldn't need to explain anything at all.

                You quoted this.....

                "Not on the 50mph 3 lane A13 where you regularly get some Preyesore driving in the fast lane doing 22mph......".

                Then went on to explain that it was an overtaking lane, not a fast lane (which is of course a colloquialism).

                Of course if you had quoted the whole of the original post, or did you get too tired to read beyond the first sentence? That the next sentence specifically referred to overtaking.

                So the whole quote was

                "Not on the 50mph 3 lane A13 where you regularly get some Preyesore driving in the fast lane doing 22mph.

                On neighbourhood streets no problem, however on multi lane thoroughfares if you're not overtaking then get on the inside lane."

                Now, was that too difficult to understand?

                On neighbourhood streets no problem, however on multi lane thoroughfares if you're not overtaking then get on the inside lane.

          2. JetSetJim Silver badge
            FAIL

            Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

            > you are perfectly allowed to do any speed you wish under the limit provided that a) it's safe to do so and b) you are overtaking someone in the middle lane.

            It is demonstrably not safe to be in the outside lane doing 22 while everyone else is doing 50 - so you most certainly won't be overtaking anyone, and no-one can undertake.

            A long while ago a mate was stopped for driving too slowly. Turns out he was over the limit, too, and didn't have a full license (just a provisional), and basically a bit of a twat for those two reasons, but the original reason was because he was slow.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

              The original reason was they were suspicious as to WHY he was driving slow, not because he was driving slow. As you say, turns out they were right to be suspicious. If he wasn't over the limit, they would have just been able to suggest he was going a bit slow and that he could be on his way.

          3. DavCrav Silver badge

            Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

            "According to the highway code, it's not "the fast lane", it's "the overtaking lane" and you are perfectly allowed to do any speed you wish under the limit provided that a) it's safe to do so and b) you are overtaking someone in the middle lane."

            False. You are not allowed to go more than 20 mph under the limit without good reason.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

              Would you care to point to the legislation that states this? There is no such thing as a minimum speed limit (except in a very very limited number of locations where it is specifically stated by signs). Will you be stopped by police if seen travelling at considerably lower speed than the average driver? Quite possibly, but if the reason isn't because you are pissed out of your skull or stoned you cannot be charged with anything.

          4. 40k slimez

            Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

            I think you'll find that

            b) you are overtaking someone in the middle lane.

            is the bit that's missing here....

            .. and if thats the case then

            a) it's safe to do so

            at 22 mph is probably not true either.

            1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

              Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

              I always thought it was possible to do 22mph and be overtaking someone, provided they were doing less than that. Or do traffic jams never happen in London any more? I must admit I've not been there for a while.

          5. Alan Brown Silver badge

            Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

            ".....you are overtaking someone in the middle lane."

            It's even simpler than that.

            The mantra is "keep left unless passing"

            Thankfully it's _not_ illegal to pass such numpties on the left in the UK, but you must do so carefully because if said numpty decides to change lanes without warning and drives into you, it can be a careless driving charge on you, not the numpty.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

          Not on the 50mph 3 lane A13 where you regularly get some Preyesore driving in the fast lane doing 22mph.

          I take you are referring to the section with filter lanes so in places traffic joining the A13 and wishing to remain on the A13, has to cross two lanes of 50mph traffic to get into the 3rd lane or get filtered off...

      2. Duffy Moon

        Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

        Plus the average speed is about 11 m.p.h.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

      Somebody's woken Clarkson from his nap...

      1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

        "Somebody's woken Clarkson from his nap"

        Everybody duck!

    3. Oneman2Many

      Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

      I'm not sure how this will take any cars of the road, all those journeys currently done by uber will still happen even if uber disappear.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

        I don't think it's the Prius drivers per se that have poor lane discipline, but the fact that many of them are taxi drivers. Having said that, as a Prius owner, I'm sick to f***ing death of pricks trying to get into my car when I'm picking my friend up at the station.

      2. rmason Silver badge

        Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

        Apart from most (all?) uber drivers in the UK use their own cars.

        So the cars won't be going anywhere. The only thing that changes is they stop being used as Taxis, either as a sole income or as a top up earnings from another job.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

          I've always observed taxi drivers driving in the way you describe of Prius drivers. I'd always assumed that taxis were slow to accelerate in order to save on fuel.

          Watching taxis do entertaining U-turns has, for the last twenty years prompted me to mentally sing "Because Iiiii'm a taxi!" to the tune of of Baby Bird's 'You're Gorgeous' (Well, the Mark Radcliffe and Boy Lard's homage 'You're a bastard', but the tune is the same)

        2. Voland's right hand Silver badge

          Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

          Apart from most (all?) uber drivers in the UK use their own cars.

          Nope, they do not. At least in London. The majority are leased.

          Walk into any Eastern European shop. There is a big poster advertising leasing out a Prius or other Uber compliant vehicle in the local language. Polish shop - poster in Polish. Romanian shop - poster in Romanian. Bulgarian shop - poster in Bulgarian. And so on. The same lease house offers other services assisting in you joining the race to the bottom on the London streets - insurance brokerage, etc. It is usually a full service affair and there is a whole cottage industry doing just that.

          I do not go into other regional ones (Asian, etc), I suspect they are no different.

          The ones worst off will be the couple of lease companies which lease 50% of the bloody Priuses you see in London.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Ben Hur Moment.......

            If you go to Whitechapel Road on a Saturday night there's more Prius's then any other single car on the road.

            On one occasion driving into London I was behind eight Uber Prius's, when you've got that many drivers, who seem, in many instances, to be either lacking in confidence or just not good drivers then you have the potential for accidents.

            Driving ridiculously slowly may be a way to avoid knocks, but it's also a way to ensure the amount of road available isn't used efficiently and infuriate other drivers..

      3. luminous

        Optional

        Uber was banned for a few days in Manila recently and traffic decreased by 5%.

  6. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Already the shrill cries of the 'only interested in myself' can be heard; "their drivers haven't raped or assaulted me and my choice is being taken away".

    I don't have a problem with competition but I do care about laws, rules and regulations and companies playing on a level field. Something which those who are only interested in saving a few pennies often do not seem to care about.

    Frankly I think it's a good decision. Uber won't disappear from the streets because they can continue to operate during the appeal which they probably will make. In court we can hear both sides of the case and then decide whether they are playing fair or not, are doing things right or wrongly.

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      A friend ordered an Uber from a drinks evening we'd been at in South Kensington despite there being a plethora of Licensed London Black Cabs. Up pulled a car a few minutes later we both got in and noticed that this wasn't going to be the most luxurious ride we'd ever had. The car made a Black cab look like a Rolls Royce. Then we headed off and the driver was totally relying on sat nav for his directions which always worries me. My friend says she needs to give instructions on getting to her place as it's surrounded by a relatively new one way system and difficult to reach.

      The driver didn't speak amazing English but just pointed at the sat nav when she asked him to turn left or right. After he missed the crucial turning for the second time she said "Just drop us here please" and we got out. She also said there are quicker routes of getting to her place than the route he took and he clearly either didn't know them, or his sat nav didn't.

      I won't use Uber because I don't like the fact that they wanted to track the movement of every user even if they weren't using the app. Greyball (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greyball) etc. Also anyone who can pass The Knowledge is better than me at remembering stuff and has earned some respect for that.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > anyone who can pass The Knowledge is better than me

        > at remembering stuff and has earned some respect for that.

        The brains of London's Black Cab drivers are a hugely valuable resource for researchers.

        They demonstrate brain plasticity with the hippocampus growing disproportionately to the norm as they develop their navigational skills and route learning.

        Here's an old BBC article on the subject

        1. TRT Silver badge

          Re: The brains of London's Black Cab drivers...

          ...with the hippocampus growing disproportionately...

          but does it then squash and inhibit operation in the areas of the brain responsible for (1) suppressing the conversion of internal monologue into external speech, (2) loving and embracing all of fellow humanity (including cyclists, "foreigners", scroungers, lay-abouts, the gubbermint, traffic wardens (not strictly counting as "humanity" but they are usually bipedal at least) and "nancy boys", (3) empathy towards the privacy of anyone even vaguely describable as a "celebrity"?

  7. zebthecat

    "To defend the livelihoods of all those drivers"

    Well that'll be a first

  8. 's water music Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Uber vs LTDA

    Tough call. Surely there is a way that they could both lose?

    Mortal combat followed by icon--> for the winner?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Uber vs LTDA

      It would be nice if they both lost.

      Personally I'll stick with my local minicab company. They're mostly friendly, hard-working middle aged Asian gentlemen who speak good English and know the area well. They'll pick me up at Heathrow with a smile and unlike the black cab drivers won't swear at me because I live too close to the airport and have deprived them of an overpriced fare into central London / spout racist abuse / want to talk about football.

      Of course, I'm generalising - a good friend of mine is a black cab driver and he's very pleasant.

      If Uber decided to run a company as opposed to a racket they would be welcome.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Couldn't have happened to a nicer company.

    Considering all the naughty things they have done then this could get very interesting.

    1. Ledswinger Silver badge

      Considering all the naughty things they have done then this could get very interesting.

      Anything outside the UK and not directly related to the London taxi operations of Uber will not be considered. Uber appear to be an aggressive, arrogant company, we can expect them to engage attack dog lawyers, and this will quickly result in QCs being deployed. That'll mean that the legal argument will be VERY specific, detailed, and the court will probably be deciding on quite narrow grounds whether TfL are acting correctly.

      1. DavCrav Silver badge

        "Anything outside the UK and not directly related to the London taxi operations of Uber will not be considered."

        I'd be surprised if that were the case. If you are assessing whether someone is a fit and proper person, you also tend to include their behaviour even in other countries.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      It's took two days but the sneaky bastards have used change.org and the bbc as a front (an affront) to their cause...

  10. big_D Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Forget the bloody courts!

    Just make sure you are f'ing well compliant with the law and regulations!

    From the reasons stated in the report, this lies 100% at Uber's door and has nothing to do with TfL "listeing" to others.

    If Uber are not complying / cannot demonstrate that they are complying with standard regulations, they only have themselves to blame.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Forget the bloody courts!

      "Just make sure you are f'ing well compliant with the law and regulations!"

      That applies to other private hire outfits too.

      TfL's reasoning for not renewing Uber's license is likely to come back and haunt them. Selective enforcement does not go down well in courts of Law.

      The bright side of this is likely to be a London-wide cleanup of private hire and black cab operations.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not Uber yet, though..

    .. they can still appeal, and given the amount of non-taxable money involved they will.

    No pesky regulations and common sense shall be allowed to interfere with the companies God given right to profit.

  12. Brenda McViking
    Thumb Down

    Whilst this doesn't affect me as I'm not in London, nonetheless this shortsighted approach to taxi-hailing apps will hurt cities that insist on working to 1890s omnibus public transport models and keeping the rent-seeking gravy train of taxi & minicab licencing going full steam ahead.

    I realise Uber are hardly a bastion of corporate responsibility and agree they need to clean up their act and work with authorities rather than against them. Nonetheless the reason people use them is because they offer a service which is seen by some as superior to conventional taxis - let's not forget, no one is forced to use Uber, drivers and riders both. There is certainly room in the market for competition (it's long overdue in London)- and this looks like a thinly veiled attempt to stamp it out by TfL.

    Dissapointing, not least for the 3.5 million people who have been using the service despite its perceived shortcomings by officials. If it was so dangerous, maybe, just maybe, it wouldn't be voluntarily used by quite so many people? (Oh, and I'd be quite happy for Uber competitors to also show up, as, seemingly, do quite a lot of others)

    1. big_D Silver badge

      Why is it short sighted to ensure that a private hire company complies with the law? In this case, they had the opportunity to operate legally, but decided not to. This is 100% Uber's decision to get themselves banned.

      In Germany the situation is even worse. Their drivers were operating illegally, because you need a professional driving license to ply for hire (this is not a taxi license, you need the professional driving license before you can apply for a taxi license, it is equivalent to a PSV or HGV license). Uber were not even checking to see if their drivers had the relevant license.

      In that case, the Uber driver is driving with invalid insurance, which is a criminal offence and if they were involved in an accident, the driver is 100% liable for all costs and compensation. If they get caught, they lose their normal driving license (or at best a ban, points and a big fine) and their normal insurance would also be revoked.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      > If it was so dangerous, maybe, just maybe, it wouldn't be voluntarily used by quite so many people?

      If Harold Shipman were a dangerous doctor he maybe would not have had so many patients choosing to see him.

      1. J J Carter Silver badge

        Be serious. All the kids took bolshy, aging but wealthy mum and dad to Dr Shipman for one reason only.

      2. Brenda McViking
        Holmes

        Harold Shipman, let's not forget, was fully licenced and regulated by the public sector medical profession. I wonder if he'd have been caught sooner had each patient rated him with that rating aggregated and publically published for all to see?

        I will repeat myself: Uber are not above the law, and need to clean up their act. Nonetheless, these ride-hailing apps (and Uber are by no means the only gig in town, Lyft, Ola, Gett) exist now in many cities throughout the world and provide a service used by millions every day. The idea that it's fundamentally dishonest, dangerous and detrimental to society to the extent that it needs to be blanket banned is shortsighted. no? I find it hard to believe that TfL are literally at the point where they have no other option to sort this out than revoking the licence- this feels far more like a conflict of interest, not a regulator looking out for the best interest of their consumers.

        I'll watch with interest. Perhaps I'm wrong and it's exactly the boot up the backside Uber need to sort their own house out.

        1. Lysenko Silver badge

          Uber are by no means the only gig in town ... blanket banned

          Contradiction. There is no "blanket ban", they're just terminating one amongst many. As you noted, there is demand for this service so booting a disreputable and (allegedly) dangerous operator out of the market simply creates an expansion opportunity for law abiding competitors (who will need more drivers, obviously). Banning Uber doesn't eliminate app based taxi hailing any more than banning CFCs eliminated refrigerators - you simply get the same utility with less negative environmental impact.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          I wonder if he'd have been caught sooner had each patient rated him with that rating aggregated and publically published for all to see?

          That would require the services of Mediums...

        3. DavCrav Silver badge

          "I wonder if he'd have been caught sooner had each patient rated him with that rating aggregated and publically [sic] published for all to see?"

          I don't mean to sound crass, but dead men tell no tales.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "....If it was so dangerous, maybe, just maybe, it wouldn't be voluntarily used by quite so many people? ....."

      We don't know, the whole point is Uber have been actively covering up reports of assaults so who knows how many instances have happened.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If you were assaulted by an Uber driver would you contact Uber or the police? I'd go to the police.

    4. phuzz Silver badge

      "If it was so dangerous, maybe [...] it wouldn't be voluntarily used by quite so many people?"

      It could be argued that people get in their cabs because they're habituated by regular taxis having such fripperies as trained and licensed drivers, that they assume that an Uber is just as safe as a normal taxi.

      Or to look at it another way, as the level of drink-driving shows, at 3am when you just want to go home, a lot of people will make poor transport choices.

    5. ibmalone Silver badge

      In terms of operator, equipment and road space, bus is more efficient than taxi. The reason we aren't all travelling round the capital in single passenger taxi journeys all the time is not a licensing one.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        > The reason we aren't all travelling round the capital in single passenger taxi journeys all the time is not a licensing one.

        It's cocaine and Grindr

      2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

        "In terms of operator, equipment and road space, bus is more efficient than taxi."

        In cities usually yes, but in rural areas often not as an entire bus may be carrying only around 4 passengers. Which is why self driving taxis may benefit rural areas more than cities in the first instance.

        1. Alan Brown Silver badge

          "In rural areas often not as an entire bus may be carrying only around 4 passengers. "

          The same applies in offpeak periods for buses in cities - and smaller self-driving vehicles might start featuring in the offpeak bus runs (especially when the road damage done by a large bus is taken into account)

      3. Alan Brown Silver badge

        "bus is more efficient than taxi."

        Apart from the small issue that a 15 ton bus does a few hundred times more damage to the road than 15 cars.

    6. John Stirling

      I was going to write something clever and apropos regarding smoking as an analogy - but actually I can't be arsed. Brenda McViking you're talking complete shit.

      This isn't keeping the gravy train going, it is addressing the shortcomings of one of the new operators. The monopoly you speak of is dying, and has been for 30 years - it'll be a while yet, but its final dissolution is probably inevitable.

      Uber's basic principle is great - use the internet to make personalised transport easy and more cost effective.

      Their detailed business model of 'and damn everything else' is not acceptable, and needs to change.

      Since the regulators only have one recourse, they are using it. I am sure that they will do a deal in court announce the win, and then hopefully obey the law. After all the actual rules they have been told to follow really are not that onerous.

      Alternatively (and I'm all in favour of this) get Parliament to make the board personally responsible for the crimes of their contractors or employees where they cannot show that they took sufficient steps to ensure such crimes did not happen - and get a proper extradition treaty in place so it can bite.

      In fact personally I'd do that anyway for EVERY company with a balance sheet or turnover of more than say £100m.

      Make them earn their salaries for once.

  13. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Kahn was funded by the GMB union. The GMB union campaigned for Uber to be banned.

    Conflict of interest?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      You're probably right but on the other hand if Uber had played nice and not been dicks Kahn wouldn't have had any reason to revoke the licence.

    2. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      "Kahn was funded by the GMB union."

      Yes, but TfL is run by Mike Brown and the mayor of London is named Khan. Who are you on about?

  14. Robert Grant

    "Since it first came onto our streets Uber has broken the law, exploited its drivers and refused to take responsibility for the safety of passengers. And that's OUR job!"

    Fixed it for you :-)

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    But disruptive is good

    My small business was being strangled by red tape,and I could hardly afford the payments on my hollowed out volcano, but now I've sorted it! My henchmen are now self-employed, which means that I don't have to pay for sick pay if they get shot. I've also decided that petty 'eye safety' regulations on shark lasers are unreasonably restrictive, and that shortsighted pre Norman conquest restrictions on 'murder' shouldn't apply to me because I have an app!

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: But disruptive is good

      Can you also give them unsafe work clothes to wear like sharp bowler hats?

    2. zebthecat

      Re: But disruptive is good

      Henchmen? pfft!

      I swapped over to minions long ago

    3. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: But disruptive is good

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDedpreZH-0

      Bloody health and safety.

  16. ncp

    Not renewing their licence after 30 September was the only thing that TfL could do to make Uber sit up and start thinking about complying. TfL's job is not to protect licensed taxi drivers, it is to regulate the transport infrastructure and network that us Londoners rely on. Uber were operating outside of this regulatory framework and would not comply - no matter what TfL tried to do to bring them to the table.

    What is disappointing is that Uber's immediate response is throw rattles out of the pram and publicly state that they will go to the courts (presumably on a judicial review procedure) to overturn the decision, rather than appealing and presenting ways in which they are prepared to play by the same rules that other licensed operators play by. Ultimately, this is what TfL and most passengers actually want, so I'm hoping (and frankly expecting) this to be what actually happens.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      It's what the GMB union wants. The GMB union funded Kahn.

      1. David Nash Silver badge

        GMB / Kahn

        If the reasons given were not solid you might have a point. However they are, so you don't.

      2. Stuart 22

        "It's what the GMB union wants. The GMB union funded Kahn."

        It wasn't Sadiq's decision. He merely agrees with it. Who's funding you?

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        If you followed the Twitter feed of the LTDA (I do), you would realise that the LTDA hate and loathe TfL.

        They have constantly complained that TfL have bent over backwards to accomodate Uber. They hate Mike Brown and have tried for years to get TfL to take action against them.

        So basically you're talking bollocks when you say LTDA and TfL are in league together. They hate each other.

    2. Ian Bush

      "What is disappointing is that Uber's immediate response is throw rattles out of the pram and publicly state that they will go to the courts"

      Disappointing maybe, but surprising, no. This seems to be their basic corporate policy - if crossed threaten litigation. One wonders if they learnt from a certain well known cult.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Rules are made to be broken or skirted in order to make a healthy profit at others' expense.

  18. rmason Silver badge

    "If it was so dangerous, maybe, just maybe, it wouldn't be voluntarily used by quite so many people?"

    As if the general public (when considered as a general group/entity) put their health and safety above cost.

    Uber is cheaper, therefore they use uber.

    Uber is cheaper because it doesn't bother with pesky laws and regulations.

    Safety and legality isn't even considered by Mrs and Mrs "average". Saving a few quid is the only thought considered. Legality, safety, morality etc aren't even considered. Service A is £10 service B is £7.50. That's it. Full stop.

    By your logic no one would be able to sell dodgy tobacco or alcohol (spoiler: they can), no one would use red diesel, no one would speed or use their phone behind the wheel etc etc etc.

    All of these things variously threaten our health and safety, or are morally wrong, or are actually illegal. Still happen millions of time a day though, don't they.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Safety and legality isn't even considered by Mrs and Mrs "average". Saving a few quid is the only thought considered.

      Until they get hurt in an accident and discover that their uberdriver isn't insured, of course. Then they'll sue TfL for not properly controlling the trade.

    2. JimC Silver badge

      It does occur to me that the petition signers have got the wrong target. If they feel its unfair that Uber have to comply with all the regulations they find so irksome then there should be a campaign to have all those regulations rescinded. Then Uber could keep their licence and all Uber's competitors would be able to operate more cheaply too and everyone would benefit. (Well apart from the people those regulations were intended to protect, but who cares about them?)

  19. Trollslayer Silver badge

    At last!

    In the US Uber wrote an analysis so they could identify when the police were trying to investigate by patterns of calls, pickups/destinations etc.

    This is obstruction of justice then add not carrying out checks, requiring CRB etc. they bloody well deserve this!

  20. steelpillow Silver badge

    Greyball? Greyb*ll*cks!

    You can get away with a lot in cyber space, but the real world has its own rules. Good for TfL!

  21. Lee D Silver badge

    My favourite quote:

    We spent our youths being told not to get in stranger's cars, or talk to strangers on the Internet.

    Now we literally summon strangers from the Internet in order to get into their cars.

  22. J J Carter Silver badge
    Boffin

    Here's your Johnny Cab!

    This can only accelerate the deployment of fully autonomous cars for hire onto the roads, so all-in-all it's progress for technology.

    1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: Here's your Johnny Cab!

      I don't think Kahn's paymasters at the GMB union will let him agree to that.

      1. John 110
        Flame

        Re: Here's your Johnny Cab!

        What are you? Some kind of idiot? If TfL had banned buses to make sure GMB members had more passengers, then you might have a point. But instead they banned a company with an abysmal track record who refused to adhere to regulations. Dick.

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: Here's your Johnny Cab!

          "What are you? Some kind of idiot?"

          I think he also posts on the Independent, and he can't spell there either.

  23. DrXym Silver badge

    Boo hoo for Uber

    For some reason they thought the rules and regulations only apply to other people. Turns out they were wrong.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: Boo hoo for Uber

      People? See this is what you're missing: Uber isn't "people", it's a platform. Rules only apply to people, not platforms. Particularly disruptive ones.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ewwwwwber

    On the nose with TfL

  25. Steve Cooper

    Oooba

    Just the name made me hate it enough to never use it.

  26. Patrick 17

    Nothing will happen. Uber will bribe some politician who'll override TfL's decision. They'll pretend they've cleaned up but everything will stay the same. TfL and Uber will both make out they've resolved the situation. Black cab drivers will continue to protest and block the streets.

  27. Pseu Donyme

    Oh dear, oh dear

    Too bad. (not)

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Business abhors a vacuum, something else will appear to fill the void soon enough as long as there's money to be made. Hopefully an alternative which will take regulations and passenger safety more seriously.

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      "Business abhors a vacuum, something else will appear to fill the void soon "

      I believe something already has.

      IDK, you wait for one virtual taxi cab company app to come a long to your phone and suddenly there's 2 of them.

  29. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's not TFLs job to put 40,000 drivers out of work.....

    ......that's our job once we've got the self driving niggles sorted out.

    I was in California 4 years ago and privy to some internal Google numbers that showed self driving technology would be worth up to $58Bn annually worldwide by removing the cost of the drivers and having 'locked in' customers who would have to see Google ads.

    That's a lot of reasons to get rid of low/no skilled individuals.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: ads to be viewed by 'locked in' customers

      That kind of 'captive audience for adverts' game has been tried several times in the UK, maybe elsewhere, albeit not by Google, and not in vehicles. Post Office queing areas, doctors reception areas, even on buses, etc. Are any of them still operational and are any of them making money? Why would it be different in self-driving cars?

      No, sorry, there's probably another reason behind it. Not quite sure what, it may well just be 'removing the cost of the low/no skill individuals in the driving seats', but captive audience for adverts probably isn't it.

      At one stage a plan like the one you mention might have convinced some gullible investors that Google knew what they were doing and were worth a punt of a few billion, but surely Google are beyond that stage now?

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: It's not TFLs job to put 40,000 drivers out of work.....

      "self driving technology would be worth up to $58Bn annually worldwide by removing the cost of the drivers"

      A conservative estimate is that self driving vehicles will make around 400 million people redundant worldwide.

      Johnycab may have to contend with gangs of unemployed taxi drivers cornering and torching the vehicles.

  30. TVU Silver badge

    "Transport for London strips Uber of its taxi licence"

    ^ Good. They were quite rightly criticised for their poor vetting procedures which allowed very unsavoury characters to become Uber drivers and who then went on to assault their passengers. No doubt Transport for London took into account Uber's controversial Greyball software that could identify potential regulatory officials.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    TAXI licence?

    I always thought that they claimed NOT to be a taxi service. Their own definition of this allegedly shady business was, I understand, a car sharing service. Again, I believe that is what made them think that they were entitled to bend the rules, if not (arguably) actually breaking them. From recent reports, the company culture does seem to leave rather a lot to be desired and their refusal to disclose their software details doesn't exactly put them in a good light. There are numerous horror stories floating around about their drivers. Best they're put out of their misery.

    1. The Indomitable Gall

      Re: TAXI licence?

      I don't think they were ever going to get away with calling themselves a riding-sharing service in the UK -- there was already too much regulation in place for them to skip it.

      That regulation made Blablacar very cautious when they moved into the UK market, and they used the HMRC's mileage allowance as a benchmark for what is considered driving for profit or not, which was entirely sensible and ensured that Blablacar would never be profitable for drivers, and would only offset and mitigate costs.

  32. hj
    Alert

    what if?

    Like in Bogota, Colombia, people just keep using the app? Who is going to stop them?

  33. VulcanV5
    Happy

    Shame on TfL

    A company but recently headed by a figure of such colossal integrity and charm as Travis Kalanik. A company that has invested heavily in software of a most original kind. A company which pays not a cent into the national purse by way of employer's NI contribution. A company whose managerial ethos has always combined piety and diligence. . .

    What on earth is TfL doing, banning it from London? Ye gods, at this rate, Uber may yet vanish from the face of the earth.

  34. arctic_haze Silver badge
    Windows

    What will they do next?

    Will they ban Windows 10 in London?

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Uber is totally overrated

    Jeez... I know private taxi firm owners as IT clients - the standard arrangement is: Drivers pay £80 a week for a smartphone loaded with communication and map software and any money they make is theirs. Uber takes 20 frickin % of any money their drivers earn.

    Private hire cabs (not including black cabs) are cheaper than Uber for passengers. They're also safer because drivers have to pass an enhanced background check which reveals spent convictions such as rape, assault, robbery, GBH etc. whereas Uber only do a basic check...great for criminals, potentially awful for passengers.

    Uber is the Justeat of the taxi world, just another way for very rich investors leveraging technology to get a chunk of established small business's income. I'll have to think of the next method to do the same.

    1. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Uber is totally overrated

      "Private hire cabs (not including black cabs) are cheaper than Uber for passengers. They're also safer because drivers have to pass an enhanced background check which reveals spent convictions such as rape, assault, robbery, GBH etc. "

      And yet, one of London's most prolific serial rapists was a Black Cab driver and numerous private hire drivers have been reported as having assaulted passengers.

      TfL's setting a bar for Uber has inadvertently set the same bar for everyone else. This could prove interesting in terms of the effects on public protection.

      By the way, it's worth noting that the enhanced background check is run by TfL before issuing hire driver licenses, NOT by Uber.

  36. ContentsMayVary

    Meanwhile on change.org...

    More than 450K people have signed a petition to reverse the decision.

    https://www.change.org/p/save-your-uber-in-london-saveyouruber

    (Not saying I agree - just mentioning it...)

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile on change.org...

      "More than 450K people have signed a petition to reverse the decision."

      So 5% of Londoners are happy using a taxi service which pays less than the minimum wage,flouts safety regulations, and is based in the US so is difficult to sue, simply because of convenience. If you want to know why there's a problem with modern slavery, there's your answer. Sociopaths.

    2. This post has been deleted by its author

    3. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile on change.org...

      "More than 450K people email addresses have signed been added to a petition to reverse the decision."

      Change.org only check for a response to a confirmation email, no postcode etc. needed, so even easier to falsify than the UK gov e-petitions website before the record-breaking referendum petition...

      Also just for balance there are the petitions: Ban uber completely and Stop Uber being re Licensed

      both of which were started today...

  37. James Anderson

    As uber are only a booking service

    Every single self employed independent driver ought to be made to apply for license a individually.

  38. iOS6 user

    Busses will be next

    Number of rapes committed in the buses is growing.

    I think that after banning Uber they may consider banning bus transport as well.

  39. dmacleo

    never used uber, use my own car yet....

    https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/over-400-london-cab-drivers-charged-with-crimes-last-year-a3226396.html

    more issues with taxi services as far as criminal cases

    In 2015, charges were brought against 413 drivers, with 126 accused of violent or sexual offences.

    The data, released by the Metropolitan Police under Freedom of Information (FOI) laws, also showed that between 2011 and 2015, a total of 1,948 drivers were charged with criminal offences.

    Of these, 521 were charged with violent or sexual offences, which can include grievous bodily harm or rape.

    The FOI showed the number of people charged who gave their occupation as a taxi driver or minicab driver.

    The data did not specify any outcomes of the criminal proceedings.

  40. Dominic Sweetman

    The 40,000 drivers came from the same Ubertweet as the 3.5M users.

    The 3.5M users would be rather more than half of Londoners who have both a credit card and a smartphone. It is wholly incredible, if they mean any sensible definition of "user" (might be "has called Uber twice"). I suspect they're adding everyone who ever downloaded the app plus all the people in every cab, then multiplying by two.

    40,000 drivers? I doubt it. Halve it, then assume most only ever worked a few hours.

  41. Missing Semicolon Silver badge
    Happy

    "40,000 licensed drivers out of work"

    ... I thought they weren't employees?

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