Frankie Wildish | Contributing Writer | Thursday, 14 September 2017

Ubers Might Not Run In London After 30 September

Ubers Might Not Run In London After 30 September

The Debrief: Mayor Sadiq Khan has until the end of the month to decide if the app-based taxi company can stay in the capital

From September 30th, you might not be able to request your weekend 4am Uber ride home any more - the company's licence is up for review in London, and it might not be extended.

The review comes after the serious and frightening news that Uber failed to report sex attacks on customers by its drivers was reported last month. The Metropolitan Police say that there were 48 reported allegations of sexal assault by Uber drivers between February 2016 and February 2017, which were all reported by either TfL or passengers and not by the company itself. Uber is no stranger to controversy: they've also previously come under fire for not offering their drivers sick pay, and then appealing the ruling that awarded drivers more employment rights by saying that their drivers are classed self-employed and are not workers of the company. Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licenced Taxi Driver's Association, has called Uber 'exploitative'.

An Uber spokesperson recently told the Daily Mail that their 'technology goes further to enhance safety with every trip tracked and recorded by GPS and we employ former Met Police officers who work closely with the police', but did not directly address the sexual assault allegations. They also added that 40,000 drivers rely on their app to make a living, and on average are paid £15 an hour.

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A court battle between London's black taxis and Uber looks inevitable after the Mayor's decision is made, as both sides are said to have lawyers on standby to appeal the decision whichever way it goes.

Whatever the outcome, Uber will need to take more responsibility for passengers' safety - I can't be the only one thinking twice about calling an Uber right now.

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