Published On: Fri, Sep 22nd, 2017

Uber Just Lost Its London Taxi License

Uber lost its London taxi license due to lack of corporate responsibility. TfL said the company is not a “fit and proper” private car hire operator.

 

Transport for London (TfL) has been rejected Uber‘s London taxi license and will not be issued a new one due to lack of corporate responsibility. TfL said the US ride-hailing company is not a “fit and proper” private car hire operator.

The company’s license to operate in London for five years is due to expire on September 30. Uber claim for 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers in London. But the company has faced criticism from unions, lawmakers and traditional black cab drivers over working conditions.

“TfL’s regulation is designed to ensure passenger safety. Private hire operators must meet rigorous regulations, and demonstrate to TfL that they do so, in order to operate. TfL must also be satisfied that an operator is fit and proper to hold a license,” a statement today said.

Tfl claimes that Uber’s “approach and conduct demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications” — including for the following issues:

  • Its approach to reporting serious criminal offenses.
  • Its approach to how medical certificates are obtained.
  • Its approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained.
  • Its approach to explaining the use of Greyball in London — software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app and prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties

TfL said it will not be commenting further on the decision pending an appeal.

Uber announced it would immediately challenge the decision by London’s transport authority in the courts.

Uber’s CEO in London, Tom Elvidge, said in a statement:

 3.5 million Londoners who use our app, and more than 40,000 licensed drivers who rely on Uber to make a living, will be astounded by this decision.

By wanting to ban our app from the capital Transport for London and the Mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice. If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport.

To defend the livelihoods of all those drivers, and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners who use our app, we intend to immediately challenge this in the courts.

Drivers who use Uber are licensed by Transport for London and have been through the same enhanced DBS background checks as black cab drivers. Our pioneering technology has gone further to enhance safety with every trip tracked and recorded by GPS. We have always followed TfL rules on reporting serious incidents and have a dedicated team who work closely with the Metropolitan Police. As we have already told TfL, an independent review has found that ‘greyball’ has never been used or considered in the UK for the purposes cited by TfL.

Uber operates in more than 600 cities around the world, including more than 40 towns and cities here in the UK. This ban would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers.

 

London’s mayor Sadiq Khan released his own statement, backed Tfl’s decision:

I want London to be at the forefront of innovation and new technology and to be a natural home for exciting new companies that help Londoners by providing a better and more affordable service.

However, all companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect – particularly when it comes to the safety of customers. Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.

I fully support TfL’s decision – it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety and security.

Any operator of private hire services in London needs to play by the rules.

 

Read more about: ,

Email:

Delivered by FeedBurner