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Uber’s safety record ‘no worse than rest of private hire industry’ says Gareth Bacon

PUBLISHED: 16:34 27 September 2017

Transport for London says it has informed Uber that it

Transport for London says it has informed Uber that it "will not be issued with a private hire operator licence". Yui Mok/PA Wire

The Bexley and Bromley assembly member has leapt to the defence of the the cab firm

Gareth Bacon has defended cab firm Uber as it faces losing its London licence following a ruling for Transport for London last week.

TfL claimed Uber was “not fit and proper” to operate in the capital, as it decided not to renew the cab app’s licence on the grounds of “public safety and security implications”.

The issues raised by TfL include Uber’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences, how drivers’ medical certificates are obtained, how criminal record checks are carried out, and its use of technology which allegedly helps it to evade law enforcement.

But the Tory Assembly member for Bexley and Bromley has come out today in defence of the company, which is set to appeal TfL’s decision.

Mr Bacon said: “Uber has broken the status quo of getting a cab - much to the dismay of those who previously held a monopoly on the industry.

“Yes there are elements of their business that need tidying up – but we should not be taken in by the smear campaigns of its opponents. Uber’s safety record is no worse than the rest of the private-hire industry.

“Mayor Sadiq Khan frequently tells us that ‘London is open for business’. Why then has he, through TfL, refused to grant an innovative firm like Uber a new licence to operate in the capital?

“Not only will this decision impact the 3.5million users and 40,000 drivers in our city, it has also caused reputational damage to London as a place that encourages innovation and creativity.”

Mr Khan gave his backing to TfL’s decision on Friday, but has since urged to chiefs to “make themselves available” to meet with Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, who on Monday accepted that it had “got things wrong”.

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