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TfL revokes Uber’s licence in London

TfL cited “a pattern of failures” by the taxi company, including several related to safety. Uber will appeal.

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Transport for London (TfL) has decided not to grant Uber a new private hire licence, citing safety failures.

 

Uber initially lost its licence in 2017 but was granted two extensions. The latest expires next week.

 

Although TfL acknowledged that Uber has made a number of positive changes and improvements to its culture, leadership and systems, the taxi regulator said it had also identified “a pattern of failures” by Uber, including several safety-related breaches.

 

"Not fit and proper"

 

“Despite addressing some of these issues, TfL does not have confidence that similar issues will not reoccur in the future, which has led it to conclude that the company is not fit and proper at this time,” a TfL statement said.

 

One issue identified was that a change to Uber’s systems allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts. This allowed them to pick up passengers as though they were the booked driver.

 

One issue identified was that a change to Uber’s systems allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts.

 

TfL said there were up to 14,000 fraudulent trips in late 2018 and early 2019.

 

Another failure allowed dismissed or suspended drivers to create an Uber account and carry passengers. Other serious breaches related to insurance.

 

A TfL spokesperson said: “While Uber has worked to address these issues, they highlight the potential safety risk to passengers of weak systems and processes. This pattern of regulatory breaches led TfL to commission an independent assessment of Uber’s ability to prevent incidents of this nature happening again.”

 

“This work has led TfL to conclude that it currently does not have confidence that Uber has a robust system for protecting passenger safety, while managing changes to its app,” they added.

 

Uber responds

 

Uber now has 21 days to appeal. During this time it can continue to operate in London.

 

A spokesperson for Uber is quoted as saying: “TfL’s decision not to renew Uber’s licence in London is extraordinary and wrong, and we will appeal.

 

“On behalf of the 3.5 million riders and 45,000 licensed drivers who depend on Uber in London, we will continue to operate as normal and will do everything we can to work with TfL to resolve this situation.”

 

Uber now has 21 days to appeal. During this time it can continue to operate in London.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan commented: "I know this decision may be unpopular with Uber users, but their safety is the paramount concern. Regulations are there to keep Londoners safe."

 

There are around 126,000 licensed private hire and black cabs in the capital overall.

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