25 Nov 2019
Bad News for Uber as Transport for London Refuses to Renew Licence
Uber has been dealt a huge blow by Transport for London (TfL), who confirmed that the taxi hailing app’s licence to operate in London will not be renewed.
The decision was made as a result of concerns over the safety of Uber users. According to London Mayor Sadiq Khan:
“14,000 Uber journeys have involved fraudulent drivers uploading their photos to other driver accounts – with passengers’ safety potentially put at risk getting into cars with unlicensed and suspended drivers.”
Uber has confirmed that it will appeal the decision, claiming that it is “extraordinary and wrong”. Jamie Hayward, Uber’s Regional General Manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, said:
“TfL found us to be a fit and proper operator just two months ago, and we continue to go above and beyond.
“Over the last two months we have audited every driver in London and further strengthened our processes.”
The firm’s licence has been hanging in the balance since 2017, when the licence was originally lost, but a 15-month extension was granted by a judge. An additional extension of two-months was granted in September 2019 and has now come to an end.
As TfL has deemed the taxi-hailing company to be not “fit and proper” to function as a private hire operator in the capital, the current licence will expire at 11.59pm on Monday 25th November 2019. However, Uber will still be able to operate in London until the result of the appeal is announced.
If the appeal is unsuccessful, some 45,000 drivers who work for Uber in the capital could be out of work. Although, there are other similar taxi apps that are still allowed to operate in the City, including Ola and ViaVan.
In a statement on Twitter, Mr Khan said:
“I support the decision by TfL’s licensing officials today in relation to Uber and completely understand why the decision was taken. Keeping Londoners safe is my absolute number-one priority, and TfL have identified a pattern of failure by Uber that has directly put passengers’ safety at risk.”