Uber ban in London : Transport regulator says Uber is “unfit” for private hire operator licence


Uber ban in London : In a massive blow to US-based Uber, the taxi services company’s five-year operating license in London will not be renewed after this month as it has been deemed to be unfit by the Transport for London (TfL).

The decision from the Greater London transport regulator puts the future of 40,000 drivers associated with Uber London in doubt along with a number of employees with the company. Uber London has been reported by Reuters to have 3.5 million users who will be affected by the absence of the Uber taxis from October.

Transport for London said that it was not proper of Uber London to retain a private hire operator licence as it considers the latter’s approach and conduct lacking in corporate responsibility. Transport for London said that its decision was based on various issues relating to public safety and security.

Uber Taxi Services Company

Uber Taxi Services Company. Photo : courtesy of Hipsta.space/Wikipedia.org.

On the Uber ban in London, the transport regulator stated: “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.

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“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.”

Transport for London has cited a few examples for justifying the Uber ban in London with the first one being the approach of the taxi services company towards reporting of serious criminal offences.

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The regulator also stated that Uber London’s approach towards obtaining medical certificates for background checks on drivers and Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks were questionable.

Transport for London is also not happy with Uber’s approach towards explaining the use of the Greyball software in London which prevents regulators from getting complete access to the app while stopping officials from carrying out regulatory or law enforcement duties.

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Reacting to the Uber ban in London, the company’s new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi, an Iranian-American businessman denied all the charges levied by Transport for London.

Uber along with its drivers network are expect to appeal against the Uber ban in London in the stipulated 21 days of time that is available under the Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998. As per Transport for London, Uber can operate its taxis until any appeal processes have been used up.

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