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TfL not to renew Uber’s hire operator licence

Published 25 September 2017

Transport for London has decided not to renew Uber London’s private hire operator licence after its current licence expires this September.

The government body responsible for the transport system in London, stated that its regulation of London’s taxi and private hire trades are designed to ensure passenger safety and private hire operators must meet the regulations and have to show that the operator is fit to hold a proper licence.

TfL claims that Uber London which has been operating in the city since 2012, is now not fit and proper to hold the private hire operator licence any more.

TfL alleges that Uber lacks responsibility in showing that there are several issues that are yet to be sorted out. These issues have a potential to interrupt with public safety and security implications.

Some of these issues include Uber’s approach in reporting serious criminal offences and how medical certificates are obtained.

Uber’s approach towards dealing with enhanced disclosure and barring service checks are obtained and its approach about explaining the use of Greyball in London, a software that could block regulatory bodies from accessing the app and which can prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties.

TfL said: “The Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 includes provision to appeal a licensing decision within 21 days of it being communicated to the applicant. Uber London Limited can continue to operate until any appeal processes have been exhausted.”

According to The Daily Mail, TfL officials inspected Uber ten times between 2013 and April, 2017 and did not find any major discrepancies and said that the taxi operator ‘satisfied regulatory requirements’.

But the decision to discontinue Uber’s licence has sparked a campaign which said that Uber’s ban in the city can make women vulnerable by forcing them to take public transport and unlicensed taxis late at night.

The Daily Mail also claims that around 700,000 people have signed a petition urging London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan to reinstate its licence. Uber also said that it is ready to negotiate with TfL officials and the Mayor.

As quoted by Sunday Times Uber London general manager Tom Elvidge said: “We'd like to know what we can do... to sit down and work together to get this right.”

“We haven't been asked to make any changes. We'd like to know what we can do. But that requires a dialogue we haven't been able to have.”

Image: TfL not to continue with Uber London’s licence. Photo: Courtesy of Uber.com.