London firms split over TfL's decision not to renew Uber's licence in the capital

 
Rebecca Smith
London businesses aren't sure over the decision to revoke Uber's licence
London businesses aren't sure over the decision to revoke Uber's licence (Source: Getty)

London firms are split over Transport for London's (TfL) decision not to renew Uber's licence to operate in the capital, according to a new study.

In September, TfL revoked the ride-hailing app's licence, declaring it "not fit and proper", though Uber is appealing the decision.

New figures out today from the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) found a split among firms regarding whether they backed the decision. Some 46 per cent supported TfL's decision, while 38 per cent disagreed.

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The majority of the 577 London businesses surveyed felt new technology and providers in the taxi and private hire industry have been a boost to both businesses and consumers, though firms were also split on preferences for using Uber over taxis for business purposes.

Some 42 per cent say they prefer using the ride-hailing app for business purposes, while 41 per cent say they do not.

Chief executive of the LCCI, Colin Stanbridge, said:

We hear from our businesses that they welcome innovation and new ways of working.

We certainly support competition and the improvements it can often bring to industries.

However, all businesses, in all sectors, always need to remember that they have to operate to high standards and deliver excellent customer service.

The LCCI said competition in the taxi and private hire industry continues to grow, with the number of private hire vehicles on the capital's roads up by over 75 per cent in the past five years.

Uber boss Dara Khosrowshahi has pledged to roll out changes for how the ride-hailing behemoth does business since being appointed as chief executive in August. Earlier this month, the firm announced plans for a cap on the number of hours drivers can work in the UK, after criticism from MPs over working conditions and safety concerns over long hours.

More than 3.5m riders use the app in London, with Uber saying some 40,000 drivers use it in the capital.

The findings come after an initial survey by the LCCI found that London firms were overwhelming in support of proposals by Transport for London (TfL) that drivers operating in the capital will need to take an English test.

Uber has appealed the introduction of a written English language test for private hire drivers, after initially losing a High Court dispute over the policy.

The firm has said thousands of drivers risked losing their livelihoods because they could not pass an essay writing test, while TfL says it is being introduced to keep standards up. The appeal is due to be heard next month.

Read more: Uber boss says company can be profitable within three years

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