Uber London has been stripped of its private hire operator license by TfL (Transport for London) this morning. The body has found a ‘pattern of failures’ by the firm which have the potential to put passengers at risk. It doesn’t believe Uber can manage itself to prevent such issues in the future and has decided that Uber isn’t fit and proper to operate at this time.
Uber had previously been refused a license by TfL but was granted a 15-month limited license with conditions which expired this September. TfL issued a further two-month extension just to give Uber time to get its act together and remains unsatisfied with the firm.
“Safety is our absolute top priority. While we recognise Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured,” Helen Chapman, Director of Licensing, Regulation and Charging at TfL, said on Monday. “It is clearly concerning that these issues arose, but it is also concerning that we cannot be confident that similar issues won’t happen again in future.”
“I support the decision by TfL’s licensing officials today in relationship to Uber and completely understand why the decision was taken. Keeping Londoners safer is my absolute number-one priority, and TfL have identified a pattern of failure by Uber that has directly put passengers’ safety at risk,” London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said, adding that it was essential for ‘innovative’ firms like Uber to play by the rules.
What does this mean for you? Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision which it most likely will. During the appeal, Uber will continue to be able to operate. If Uber wins its appeal and retains its license, then nothing will fundamentally change on the user side. If it loses and exhausts all options, Uber will have no choice but to shutter its operations in London.