Uber loses licence to operate in London following breaches
Transport for London has stripped travel firm Uber of its operating licence.
The regulator cited “several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk”, when announcing that it would not renew the firm’s existing permit.
Transport for London (TfL) said that a key issue in its decision was a “pattern of regulatory breaches”.
These included a change to Uber’s system, which allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver’s accounts.
TfL claims this allowed drivers to pick up passengers as though they were the booked driver, which it said occurred in at least 14,000 trips and put passenger safety and security at risk and left the journey uninsured.
Helen Chapman, director of licensing, regulation and charging at TfL, said: “As the regulator of private hire services in London we are required to make a decision today on whether Uber is fit and proper to hold a licence.”
She said that the TfL recognised the steps that Uber had taken to work with the regulator but that it was ‘unacceptable’ that drivers who were potentially uninsured and unlicensed could pick up passengers through the app.
‘”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,” she continued.
The tech and travel giant said it will use its allotted 21 days of appeal, stating that it was “extraordinary and wrong” in a statement.
While its licence to operate in London expires today, the firm can continue to operate while it appeals the decision.
Chapman continued: “Uber will have the opportunity to publicly demonstrate to a magistrate whether it has put in place sufficient measures to ensure potential safety risks to passengers are eliminated.
“If they do appeal, Uber can continue to operate and we will closely scrutinise the company to ensure the management has robust controls in place to ensure safety is not compromised during any changes to the app.”