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BusinessOla to appeal UK ban decision over safety risk

Ola to appeal UK ban decision over safety risk

Published: 5th Oct 2020 10:11 pm

London: Indian ride-hailing company Ola has been refused a license to continue operating in London over “passenger safety” failings by the British capital’s transport authority, a decision the company said would appeal.

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The Bengaluru-headquartered company, which had launched its services in London in February, has 21 days to appeal against the decision of Transport for London (TfL) and can continue to operate in the interim.

Helen Chapman, TfL’s director of licensing, regulation and charging said: “Through our investigations, we discovered that flaws in Ola’s operating model have led to the use of unlicensed drivers and vehicles in more than 1,000 passenger trips, which may have put passenger safety at risk.

“If they do appeal, Ola can continue to operate and drivers can continue to undertake bookings on behalf of Ola. We will closely scrutinise the company to ensure passengers safety is not compromised”. The company is also accused by TfL of a failure to draw attention to concerns as they were identified.

Ola’s UK chief has confirmed that the company will be appealing against the decision, saying it has been working with the transport authority through its review period in order to address any issues. “At Ola, our core principle is to work closely, collaboratively and transparently with regulators such as TfL. We have been working with TfL during the review period and have sought to provide assurances and address the issues raised in an open and transparent manner,” said Marc Rozendal, MD, Ola UK.

“Ola will take the opportunity to appeal this decision and in doing so, our riders and drivers can rest assured that we will continue to operate as normal, providing safe and reliable mobility for London,” he said.

According to sources, most of the issues were technical in nature and have been corrected and the same will be communicated in the appeal. The Indian company, which is backed by Japan’s SoftBank Group, entered the UK market in 2018 starting with Wales and then south-west England.

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