Uber Faces Regulatory Challenges In London (License Not Renewed)

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Uber is facing challenges to continue operating in London after TfL (Transport for London) today decided that it will not issue operator license for Uber once it current one expires on September 30, 2017.

Uber TfL

Uber has 21 days to appeal and the process can take years if all legal channels to turn this decision are used.

Here’s statement from Transport for London:

Licensing decision on Uber London Limited

22 September 2017

Transport for London (TfL) has today (Friday 22 September) informed Uber London Limited that it will not be issued with a private hire operator licence after expiry of its current licence on 30 September.

TfL’s regulation of London’s taxi and private hire trades 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 licence.

TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence.

TfL considers 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. These include:

  • Its approach to reporting serious criminal offences.
  • 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.

The Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 includes provision to appeal a licensing decision within 21 days of it being communicated to the applicant. Uber London Limited can continue to operate until any appeal processes have been exhausted.

No further comment will be made by TfL pending any appeal of this decision.

Notes to Editors:

  • Uber London Limited was licenced as a Private Hire (PH) Operator in 2012. On 26 May TfL granted a 4-month PH Operator Licence whilst it concluded its consideration of a five year licence. This licence expires on 30 September.

Conclusion

Uber is facing roadblocks in many European markets and it has withdrawn from some. The Uber service in London won’t end on September 30, 2017, that’s for sure. It might take years before all the venues to challenge the TfL decision have been exhausted.

Many argue that part of this decision could be simply based on xenophobia. The black cab drivers are mainly white British while Uber drivers are often immigrants.

And you can blame Uber too for all their governance issues and launching in many markets (not in London) without any licenses.

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