11 February 2020

Uber Loses London Licence – What Happens Now?

Uber has recently lost its licence to operate in London after TfL (Transport for London) found that more than 14,000 journeys were with drivers using a fake identity on the app. This is likely to have a huge knock-on effect on the thousands of drivers who work for Uber around the city.

If you live outside of London and are wondering how this decision may affect Uber in other parts of the country, you don’t need to worry, as any city outside of London that Uber operates in will not be affected. In the meantime, Uber is appealing TfL’s decision not to renew Uber’s licence, and will continue to operate within the city whilst the appeal is ongoing.

 

Are London Uber drivers still at risk of losing their jobs?

At the moment it’s unclear. Whilst drivers are still permitted to work under Uber as they appeal the case, it is unlikely they will be able to keep their positions if Uber loses. However, the appeal process may be lengthy, potentially lasting months or even years.

 

Why has Uber lost its licence?

Uber had first lost its licence in September 2017 when TfL refused to renew it due to safety concerns, but was given a 15-month temporary licence the following year after the company appealed.

TfL, has stated that it identified “a pattern of failures” by the company that could potentially put passengers at risk, whilst their licensing director Helen Chapman added, “Whilst we recognise that Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured.”

London mayor Sadiq Khan has voiced his support of the decision on his official Facebook page, stating, “I know this decision may be unpopular with Uber users, but their safety is the paramount concern. Regulations are there to keep Londoners safe, and fully complying with TfL’s strict standards is essential if private hire operators want a licence to operate in London.”

Uber has responded to the decision to revoke the licence, saying it was “Extraordinary and wrong.” In recent months, the company has increased safety measures by introducing robust checks on driver identification, and will be introducing a facial-matching feature in the future.

CEO Dara Khosrowshahi went to his Twitter page to voice his opposal of the decision, “We understand we’re held to a high bar, as we should be. But this TfL decision is just wrong. Over the last 2 years we have fundamentally changed how we operate in London. We have come very far — and we will keep going, for the millions of drivers and riders who rely on us.”

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