Thousands sign Uber petition in London

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Khan said in a statement that it would be wrong "to license Uber if there was any way this could pose a threat to Londoners' safety or security".

On Saturday, Mr Khan, who backed the TfL decision, said anger from customers and drivers "should be directed at Uber" and added that it will "take some time before this situation with Uber fully plays out".

The ubiquitous vehicle share service has experienced explosive growth in dense and sprawling London, where an estimated 40,000 Uber drivers prowl the streets waiting for a click from the 3.5 million residents who have downloaded the app.

London's transport authority has revoked the license for taxi app Uber to operate in the British capital, and Londoners are freaking out.

The company claimed that the regulator had caved into a "small number of people" who want to restrict consumer choice, in an apparent reference to the campaign by the existing black cab market.

The company has been accused of ramping prices during high demand for fares, such as in the aftermath of terrorist attacks in London in June.

A petition organised by Uber against London's decision not to renew its operating licence gathered more than 500,000 signatures yesterday, a day after the decision was announced.

Business group London First said TfL's ruling "will be seen as a Luddite decision by millions of Londoners and worldwide visitors who use Uber", and would damage London's reputation as a global tech hub.

Uber said in response that it would challenge the decision.

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TfL rejected Uber's application for licence renewal on the basis that the company's approach and conduct demonstrated a "lack of corporate responsibility" which could have potential public safety and security implications.

Over the past years, the company has turned to its users in Jakarta, Budapest, Toronto and Portland for help in such a confrontation to sign petitions and build online tools to show local lawmakers their support.

In London, Uber has faced criticism from unions, legislators and traditional black-cab drivers over working conditions.

In an email sent to staff about London's decision, Khosrowshahi said he was "hugely disappointed in the decisions by London's Mayor and Transport for London".

Uber's arrival in Britain has been controversial, with questions raised over the employment rights of its drivers.

In a recent decision, Transport for London singled out Uber's approach to reporting serious criminal offenses and how it conducts background checks on drivers.

"Our pioneering technology has gone further to enhance safety with every trip tracked and recorded by Global Positioning System".

Uber operates in more than 600 locations around the world, including more than 40 towns and cities in the UK.