There’s Already a Petition to Save Uber in London
Following the blockbuster news on Friday that Uber would lose its operating license in London, fans of the ride-hailing company signed on to a petition to Mayor Sadiq Khan to keep the service in the city.
A petition on Change.org says that the decision by Transport for London, the city’s transportation authority, satisfied a small number of people” while putting “more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work” and depriving a “convenient and affordable form of transport” to millions of Londoners.
Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, initially appeared as the petition’s creator, but a change Friday afternoon switched the author to “Uber London.” Uber did not immediately return Fortune’s request for comment on the authenticity and origin of the petition, but its language mirrors a statement Elvidge issued after the TfL decision.
By 3 p.m. BST on Friday the petition had received nearly 70,000 signatures, at one point gaining more than 25,000 in a 20-minute span.
Read More: Uber Just Lost Its License in London
The TfL announced earlier in the day that it had decided to effectively ban Uber in London after determining that the company “is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license.” The company’s current license expires at the end of September.
In making its decision, the authority that regulates London’s taxis cited Uber’s inadequate screening and background checks of drivers, its “approach to how medical certificates are obtained,” and the use of its controversial “Greyball” software that blocks regulators from gaining full access to the app. The TfL also—rather damningly—questioned Uber’s “approach to reporting serious criminal offenses” by its drivers—an issue raised in an extensive submission by the Metropolitan Police.
Uber says it plans to appeal the decision, and it will be able to operate in London during that lengthy process.
The charge.org petition says it will ask Khan to reverse the decision, but on Friday the London mayor backed the TfL.
“Any operator of private hire services in London needs to play by the rules,” he said. “I fully support TfL’s decision—it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety and security,” he said.
The petition argues that Uber drivers are licensed by the TfL and have undergone the same “enhanced background checks” as their rival black cab drivers.
“This ban shows the world that London is far from being open and is closed to innovative companies, who bring choice to consumers and work opportunities to those who need them,” the petition says.