The transport regulatory body for London, TfL, announced yesterday that it was revoking the operating licence for Uber due to safety concerns and governance issues.
The Socialist Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, publicly supports this decision.
Uber will appeal this decision, resulting in a stay of execution for about a year while the legal process is underway.
Some pertinent numbers might be useful. London has;
44,000 Uber drivers
Around 125 sexual assaults by other taxi drivers per year
Any number higher than zero is too high for sexual assaults but the relativity of the figures above make sense; a would-be attacker is less likely to do so if you’ve been able to identify him from a picture of his face and have a record of his car registration on your phone.
Indeed, even the Financial Times gets it right in an opinion piece yesterday, proving the old saying about stopped clocks being accurate twice a day;
This is an ideological decision made for reasons of Socialist dogma. The disruption that Uber has brought to London has had two main effects;
1. Shaking up a previously fat and happy taxi industry.
2. Excellent price and service outcomes for the consumer.
Sadiq Khan and the UK extreme left wing cannot reconcile 1) with 2). They are wracked with anger and jealously that an innovative idea has resulted in a heavily-unionised industry experiencing change and the parent company owners becoming rich.
The outcomes for the consumer are a very distant 2nd place to this envy in their list of priorities.
How this plays out will be highly-interesting; a popular mayor may find himself badly-damaged by this knee-jerk decision.