London will not renew licence for Uber to operate

Its current licence expires in the British capital on September 30th

London will not renew licence for Uber to operate

File photo. Image: Andrew Matthews / PA Wire/Press Association Images

Update: 12.25

London authorities say they will not renew a licence for ride-share app Uber to operate there.

Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed it will not be issued with a private hire operator licence.

Its current licence expires on September 30th.

The transport body says: "TfL has concluded that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence.

"TfL considers Uber's approach and conduct to demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications."

It says these include its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and how medical certificates are obtained.

TfL says no further comment will be made "pending any appeal of this decision".

Uber says it intended to challenge the decision in the courts.

It says TfL and London Mayor Sadiq Khan had "caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice".

Mr Khan says in a Facebook post that he fully supported TfL's decision, saying: "All companies in London must play by the rules and adhere to the high standards we expect - particularly when it comes to the safety of customers.

"Providing an innovative service must not be at the expense of customer safety and security.

"I fully support TfL’s decision - it would be wrong if TfL continued to license Uber if there is any way that this could pose a threat to Londoners’ safety and security."

Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber London, says: "3.5 million Londoners who use our app, and more than 40,000 licensed drivers who rely on Uber to make a living, will be astounded by this decision.

"By wanting to ban our app from the capital Transport for London and the mayor have caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice.

"If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport.

"To defend the livelihoods of all those drivers, and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners who use our app, we intend to immediately challenge this in the courts."

"Drivers who use Uber are licensed by Transport for London and have been through the same enhanced DBS background checks as black cab drivers.

"Our pioneering technology has gone further to enhance safety with every trip tracked and recorded by GPS.

"We have always followed TfL rules on reporting serious incidents and have a dedicated team who work closely with the Metropolitan Police."

In May, TfL renewed the company's permit to operate but for a period of only four months.

Uber has about 40,000 drivers in London, and is used by about 3.5 million customers.

It also has a presence in Ireland, but on a limited basis.

Dublin customers can book licensed taxis on the app, but cannot use private cars.

The company had wanted to run a pilot ride-sharing scheme in Limerick earlier this year, but this was blocked by National Transport Authority (NTA).

Additional reporting: IRN