Users of Uber are facing a total ban in the UK’s capital after it was concluded the app is “not fit and proper” to operate.
Transport for London are now looking to block the service leaving millions unable to grab a lift via their smartphones.
In a statement TFL said: “Private hire operators must meet rigorous regulations and demonstrate to TfL that they do so, 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.”
Uber, which allows people to order taxis and pay from their mobile phones, has become hugely popular in recent years with around 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers using the Uber app in London alone.
So when will the service stop working in the capital?
Uber was given just a four-month temporary licence in May – and the taxi firm’s current deal expires on September 30, Transport for London (TfL) said.
This means your Uber app could become ineffective from the end of next week.
Other countries have seen a similar ban which means that although the Uber app still launches no cars will be shown on the screen.
Uber does have 21 days to appeal which means users are unlikely to see any changes until next month.
In an emailed statement, Tom Elvidge, General Manager of Uber in London, said that the company will immediately challenge the decision in the courts.
The Uber boss posted a statement saying: “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.
“As we have already told TfL, an independent review has found that ‘greyball’ has never been used or considered in the UK for the purposes cited by TfL.
If the ban does come into force what alternatives are there?
If Uber does get a ban from the UK it will mean millions of people will be looking for another way to get around London.
There are plenty of apps on Apple and Google’s stores which can get you a taxi, although many are not as accessible, easy to use, or offer the same value for money.
Here’s some apps that can also find taxis via your smartphone.
Mytaxi – iOS • Android
MyTaxi brings access to licensed cabs that are in your area and, like Uber, users simply tap to order with no cash payments taking place.
Gett – iOS • Android
Gett has hundreds of London black cabs on its servcie which will arrive at your location with a couple of taps on your smartphone.
Gett says it has the highest rated Black cab drivers in London with all trained to the highest standards.
Minicabster – iSO • Android
Unlike some other apps, Minicabster can find local taxi companies to come and pick you up. Users can even compare prices before collection.