Uber challenger Taxify has temporarily stopped operating in London after less than a week

Emma Haslett
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London Black Cab Drivers To Protest Over Uber Taxis
The app is backed by Chinese Uber rival Didi Chuxing (Source: Taxify)

Taxify, the controversial Uber challenger which launched in London this week, has temporarily stopped accepting bookings after Transport for London (TfL) decided it was not a licensed operator.

City A.M. revealed earlier this week the Estonian startup had been accused of flouting the rules for private hire operators in the capital after it was alleged it did not having a licence. The startup itself said it was operating under the licence of City Drive Services, an existing operator in London it had acquired.

However, Wes Streeting, the Labour MP who heads up the taxi all-party parlimantary group, voiced concerns.

"They are openly advertising but don't appear to have a licence to operate," he said.

TfL responded by placing the company under "urgent" investigation. In a statement it said:

The law requires private hire bookings to be taken by licensed private hire operators at a licensed premises, with appropriate record keeping.

Taxify is not a licensed private hire operator and is not licensed to accept private hire bookings in London. TfL has instructed Taxify to stop accepting bookings and it has done so.

Sadiq Khan added that TfL must take "robust enforcement action" against private hire providers found to be breaching the rules.

“Following an investigation, it was right that TfL took immediate action to instruct Taxify to cease operating. As Mayor I will continue to do everything I can within my powers to drive up standards across the taxi and private hire market, and ensure Londoners can get safely around our city.”

However, this morning Taxify said:

Taxify is a technological platform for customers to hail rides from City Drive Services, a licensed London based private hire company. This has been raised as a concern by TfL and in full cooperation, Taxify have temporarily stopped operations to clarify its legal position with the regulator and reach a resolution so that services can return to normal

The company, which is backed by Chinese ride hailing giant Didi Chuxing, said its app had had 30,000 downloads since its launch on Monday.

Read more: Uber's facing a fresh challenge in London with two new rivals pulling up

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