Following the removal of Uber‘s license to operate in London, many users have been worrying about the implications such a ban will have on UberEATS, the company’s flagship food delivery service.
UberEATS – which recently began offering the UK’s first McDonalds delivery service – was launched in 2015. It offers users localised delivery options from a range of nearby restaurants and takeaways. It faces fierce competition from the likes of Deliveroo and Just Eat, the latter of which saw its stock market share price rise by 30p following news of Uber’s impending license removal.
Other huge fast food brands, including Greggs, have been reportedly looking to McDonalds and UberEATS’ success as a marker of their own potential for home delivery.
Operators have now confirmed, that the UberEATS service will not be affected by Transport For London’s license removal.
A spokesperson told Metro: “The licence only applies to private-hire operations as it’s granted by Transport for London so UberEATS is not impacted by the licence – or lack of.”
Taxi giant Uber is said to have around 40,000 drivers in London, with over 3.5 million Londoners using the app. Their current licence is due to expire next Saturday on September 30. Today, the capital’s transport body have announced that they will not be reissuing it. However, it is believed that the company will appeal.
“TfL’s regulation of London’s taxi and private hire trades is designed to ensure passenger safety,” said Transport For London in a statement. “Private hire operators must meet rigorous regulations, and demonstrate to TfL that they do do, in order to operate. TfL must also be satisfied that an operator is fit and proper to hold a licence.
“TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence.”
In a statement issued to NME, London Mayor Khan lent his support to Transport For London’s decision.
“I want London to be at the forefront of innovation and new technology and to be a natural home for exciting new companies that help Londoners by providing a better and more affordable service,” Mr Khan told NME. “However, all companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect – particularly when it comes to the safety of customers. Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.
“I fully support TfL’s decision – it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety and security.”
He added: “Any operator of private hire services in London needs to play by the rules.”
Tom Elvidge, the General Manager of Uber in London, has confirmed that the ride-hailing service intends to immediately appeal against the decision.
“3.5 million Londoners who use our app, and more than 40,000 licensed drivers who rely on Uber to make a living, will be astounded by this decision”, Mr Elvidge said.
“By wanting to ban our app from the capital Transport for London and the Mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice. If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport. To defend the livelihoods of all those drivers, and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners who use our app, we intend to immediately challenge this in the courts.
“Drivers who use Uber are licensed by Transport for London and have been through the same enhanced DBS background checks as black cab drivers. Our pioneering technology has gone further to enhance safety with every trip tracked and recorded by GPS. We have always followed TfL rules on reporting serious incidents and have a dedicated team who work closely with the Metropolitan Police.”
He added: ‘Uber operates in more than 600 cities around the world, including more than 40 towns and cities here in the UK. This ban would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers.’