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Transport for London (TfL) in a statement announced its refusal to grant Ola, a new London private hire vehicle (PHV) operator’s licence. But says the company can “continue to operate pending the outcome of any appeal process”, within 21 days.

The public transport authority disclosed that Ola was not “fit and proper” to hold a licence, because of passenger safety and related infractions, while Uber was cleared to operate in the city. Uber on Sept. 28 won a legal bid to restore its London operating licence, which had been taken away over safety concerns.

Indeed, Ola was said to have breached TfL’s licensing regime, by using unlicensed drivers and vehicles who have performed over a thousand passenger trips on the platform.

Ola joined the London taxi market which was dominated by rivals including Uber, Freenow and Bolt in February 2020. The market has seen drivers of traditional black cabs blocking streets in protest at what they see as a threat to their livelihoods.

The Bengaluru-based taxi operator, said it was working with TfL and “have sought to provide assurances and address the issues raised in an open and transparent manner”.

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