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TfL gave Uber the green light ten times before ban

  • Inspections by Transport for London between 2013 and 2017 did not find any major faults with the taxi firm and ruled it 'satisfied regulatory requirements' 
  • It has led to claims the cancellation of Uber's license was 'political opportunism' 
  • Sadiq Khan is under growing pressure to reverse the decision to banish the Uber

By Anthony Joseph for MailOnline and James Salmon, Transport Correspondent For The Daily Mail

Published: 02:04 EDT, 25 September 2017 | Updated: 06:04 EDT, 25 September 2017

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Transport bosses in London gave Uber the green light 10 times before deciding it was not 'fit and proper'. 

Inspections by Transport for London between 2013 and April 2017 did not find any major faults with the taxi firm and ruled that it 'satisfied regulatory requirements'.

The findings have led to claims that the cancellation of Uber's license was 'political opportunism'. 

And it comes as London Mayor Sadiq Khan is under growing pressure to reverse the decision to banish the US company from the capital. 

Inspections by Transport for London between 2013 and April 2017 did not find any major faults with the taxi firm and ruled that it 'satisfied regulatory requirements'
Inspections by Transport for London between 2013 and April 2017 did not find any major faults with the taxi firm and ruled that it 'satisfied regulatory requirements'

Inspections by Transport for London between 2013 and April 2017 did not find any major faults with the taxi firm and ruled that it 'satisfied regulatory requirements'

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was last night under growing pressure to reverse the decision to banish Uber from the capital
London Mayor Sadiq Khan was last night under growing pressure to reverse the decision to banish Uber from the capital

London Mayor Sadiq Khan was last night under growing pressure to reverse the decision to banish Uber from the capital

The data released under the Freedom of Information Act in July showed 10 inspections took place in the last four years.

Only one flagged up concerns of Uber failing to comply with its licence - in August 2016.

But TfL later said that Uber took 'all reasonable steps' and the breach was deemed outside its control, according to The Times. 

Campaigners yesterday warned that banning Uber in London would make women less safe by forcing them to take public transport and unlicenced taxis late at night. 

Nearly 700,000 people have signed a petition set up by the controversial taxi-hailing smartphone app urging the London Mayor to back down. 

And Uber tried to back Mr Khan into a corner by signalling it is keen to strike a peace deal and could be willing to offer concessions to improve its drivers' rights.

The US tech firm pleaded to sit down around the negotiating table with the mayor and officials at Transport for London (TfL), which ruled on Friday that Uber is 'not fit and proper' to hold a taxi licence.

Uber also claimed that Mr Khan and TfL have refused to meet it for detailed talks, and have not been clear about what it needs to do to ensure its licence is renewed.

Nearly 700,000 people have signed a petition set up by the controversial taxi-hailing smartphone app urging the London Mayor to back down
Nearly 700,000 people have signed a petition set up by the controversial taxi-hailing smartphone app urging the London Mayor to back down

Nearly 700,000 people have signed a petition set up by the controversial taxi-hailing smartphone app urging the London Mayor to back down

London's black cab drivers block Whitehall during a demonstration over the regulation of private hire cars using the Uber app in London on April 6, 2017
London's black cab drivers block Whitehall during a demonstration over the regulation of private hire cars using the Uber app in London on April 6, 2017

London's black cab drivers block Whitehall during a demonstration over the regulation of private hire cars using the Uber app in London on April 6, 2017

Tom Elvidge, Uber's general manager in London, said; 'We'd like to know what we can do... to sit down and work together to get this right.'

Speaking to the Sunday Times, he added: 'We haven't been asked to make any changes. We'd like to know what we can do. But that requires a dialogue we haven't been able to have.'

TfL declined to comment. A source close to Mr Khan claimed he was not involved in the decision to suspend Uber's licence, arguing this was made by officials working in TfL's licensing section.

But this received short shrift from Croydon South Tory MP Chris Philp, who said: 'It is disgraceful that Sadiq Khan took away Uber's licence without even bothering to sit down with them and discussing what needs to change first.

'Clearly there are things that Uber needs to do to improve. But if Mr Khan is serious about improving safety he should have sat down with Uber and told them what they needed to change.

'He appears to have put narrow political interests ahead of the interests of the wider general public.'

Uber also claimed that Mr Khan and TfL have refused to meet it for detailed talks, and have not been clear about what it needs to do to ensure its licence is renewed
Uber also claimed that Mr Khan and TfL have refused to meet it for detailed talks, and have not been clear about what it needs to do to ensure its licence is renewed

Uber also claimed that Mr Khan and TfL have refused to meet it for detailed talks, and have not been clear about what it needs to do to ensure its licence is renewed

The criticism came as it emerged that Mr Khan's successful campaign to become London Mayor was backed with a £30,000 donation from cab drivers' union GMB, which has spearheaded the fight to ban Uber.

A key reason cited by TfL for not renewing Uber's licence was its failure to report serious criminal offences.

This was flagged up last month by the head of Scotland Yard's taxi unit, Neil Billany, who said the firm was not alerting the authorities about sex attacks and other serious crimes by drivers – and was prioritising its reputation over protecting the public.

Users have to download the Uber app onto their smartphone and activate it to hail one of its drivers. The company operates in over 600 cities and towns around the world, including more than 40 in the UK.

The firm's London licence expires next Saturday, but has already said it intends to appeal against the ban. It will be able to continue to operate while the appeal is processed. 

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