Uber launches petition, slams London regulators for restricting consumer choice

Big 5

Uber’s London unit has launched Friday a petition against the decision to revoke its licence, saying that regulators were trying to “restrict consumer choice.”

“We are sure Londoners will be as astounded as we are by this decision. By trying to ban the app from the capital, the Mayor and Transport for London have caved in to a small number of people,” Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, said in an emailed statement to customers in the U.K.

“Not only will this decision deprive you of the choice of a convenient way of getting about town, it will also put more than 40,000 licenced drivers who rely on our app out of work.”

Earlier Friday, Transport for London stripped Uber of its licence to operate, which will likely affect more than 40,000 drivers in one of the world’s biggest cities. Uber said that it will be immediately challenging the decision in court.

“Uber’s approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications,” Transport for London said.

The final day of Uber’s licence will be Sept. 30. In London, Uber has faced criticism from unions, lawmakers and traditional black-cab drivers over working conditions.

Elvidge’s emailed statement also included a link to a petition, which is urging the mayor of London and TFL to “think again.” The “Save Your Uber in London” petition had more than 491,000 signatures by the early hours of Saturday.

Source: CNBC & Reuters