Transport for London will not renew private hire company Uber’s licence to operate in the capital.
TfL said a “pattern of failures placed passenger safety and security at risk” was behind its decision not to renew Uber’s licence.
The transport body said it “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.”
TfL said a key issue was a change to Uber’s systems allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts, allowing the unauthorised driver to pick up passengers as though they were the booked driver
TfL said this occurred in at least 14,000 trips which it said putting passenger safety and security at risk, adding that all the journeys were uninsured and some passenger journeys also took place with unlicensed drivers, one of which had previously had their licence revoked by TfL.
Legislation means that Uber now has 21 days to appeal, during which it can continue to operate pending any appeal and throughout any potential appeals process. Uber may seek to implement changes to demonstrate to a magistrate that it is fit and proper by the time of the appeal.
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. Safety is our absolute top priority. It is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured. 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.”
The GMB union welcomed TfL’s ruling. Steve Garelick, GMB regional officer, said: “Uber pulled more stunts than a Hollywood movie, now it’s time for them to accept their responsibilities. We fully expect the Supreme Court to uphold the ruling of the Employment Tribunal, the Employment Appeal Tribunal and the Court of Appeal on driver’s worker rights in July. GMB wants to protect honest drivers, but it’s perhaps time for them to look elsewhere to work.”