Outrage or relief? Uber loses London licence

Uber phone app with a phone box and black cab in the background Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Uber said TfL 'caved in to a small number who want to restrict consumer choice'

Transport for London (TfL) has said it will not renew the lift-hailing app firm Uber's licence.

The decision has provoked a very mixed reaction on social media. Unsurprisingly, the hashtag #Uber started to trend almost immediately after the announcement.


Some have been lamenting the higher cost of different taxi services, including Paul Cushion, who is not happy at all:

"I'm raging! Uber is a great service and I use it to get to work because I do anti-social hours and it's far safer than the bus! Last year it cost me £18 to get home on Christmas Day. This year it will be treble that."

Lynn in London got in touch via WhatsApp: "40,000 drivers in London can't be that bad. This is to please black cab rip-off merchants."

Kieran McCormack agrees: "Uber has provided me with clean, polite, efficient, cheap and accessible transport. The decision to revoke their licence is a regressive step."

Peter Granger says simply: "A ridiculous decision. It would be better to ban black cabs."

Graham Stoner, whose grandfather used to be a black-cab driver, told the BBC the decision is: "Scandalous! I thought monopolies were a thing of the past. London taxis need to wake up and smell the coffee. How come a ride home in an uncomfortable slow black cab costs me three to four times as much as going home in a modern saloon car?"

Safety first

Women have been expressing their dismay, including @sunnysingh_n6 who describes Uber as her life support: "I KNOW the driver will accept my fare (unlike black cabs)"

There are concerns about travelling late at night, especially from twitter user Charlie: "Without Uber, I'm going to be at a bus stop late at night, on a night bus, walking home from the bus stop that is NOT right outside my house." She posted.

Annie Josephine thinks the decision will affect some people more than others:

Sabrina Mahfouz tweets that she's never felt safer: "Safest I've ever felt in my city with uber app on tap."

Freedom of choice

Mike Packham in Beckenham asks: "Whatever happened to choice and competition? Certainly some working practices and safety issues need improving, but to deprive 3.5 million customers and cutting jobs is madness."

Carol Merrifield is also outraged: "Uber is the best thing to happen in London for years. Black cabs should not be allowed to dictate."

John in London adds: "TfL has made a fool of itself and fails to take account of the needs of passengers in the round when it acts like this. If there are problems, surely they need sorting? This stupid decision puts tens of thousands out of work and will cost taxi users dearly."

Uber drivers

Uber driver Muhammad Naveed says he has to pay off £12,000 of lease on his car and insurance which he bought two weeks ago: "How am I going to manage? My life will be finished. No job with thousands of debt is the worst thing that can ever happen in a person's life."

Martin Shaw says he is proud to drive for Uber: "Many taxi companies across the UK have had the market in their towns and ripped off users. Uber has honest pricing."

Pay for standards

However, there has been praise for the decision. Christine Soper called it excellent and heartening:

"There is no shortage of local and London-wide cab companies and, of course, the wonderful and iconic British black cab. They are strictly regulated and have to abide by the rules and pay for that also. Why should Uber be the exception? It's an environmental disgrace that they are swamping London's roads with numbers adding each week with no controls. If you want decent standards, safety and security then we all have to pay for them."

David Lamont has had a poor experience with Uber, although he says the app is great:

"The drivers are awful. Until they are vetted and employ drivers with more respect for London, they should be banned."

Meanwhile, a bit of perspective has been called for by Scott Anthony who pointed out that Londoners were more outraged at Uber losing their licence than the terror attacks this year:

And a hint of sarcasm:

By Sherie Ryder, UGC and Social News team

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