Uber's London Licence Refused
On Monday it was announced that Transport for London (TFL) had resolved not to grant Uber London Ltd (Uber) a new private hire operator’s licence (licence).
This follows an earlier decision by TFL to refuse Uber a licence in 2017. This earlier decision was appealed by Uber and a compromise was reached with the Chief Magistrate granting a 15 month licence within conditions.
In September 2019 a further 2 month licence was granted by TFL in order to allow further information to be collected before determining a long term application.
Although TFL acknowledged Uber had made:
“a number of positive changes and improvements to its culture, leadership and systems in the period since the Chief Magistrate granted it a licence in June 2018. This includes interacting with TfL in a transparent and productive manner.”
They also felt there was “a pattern of failures by the company including several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk.”
TFL identified as a “key issue” problematic changes to Uber's systems which allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts.
This allowed them (unauthorised drivers) to pick up passengers as though they were the booked driver, which occurred in at least 14,000 trips. TFL felt this put passenger safety and security at risk. TFL concluded that all such journeys were uninsured and some passenger journeys took place with unlicensed drivers, one of which had previously had their licence revoked by TfL.
Uber have already indicated their intention to appeal TFL’s decision which will mean they can continue to trade until the Appeal is determined, and beyond if successful.
We shall keep you updated.