Fleet News

Uber granted two-month extension to operating licence in London


Transport for London has again rebuffed Uber’s application to renew its private hire operating licence in the capital.

Last year, Uber London Ltd received a 15-month licence from the chief magistrate when it appealed TfL’s decision not to grant a new licence, which said it was not a “fit and proper” firm, citing concerns including passenger safety.

With this licence due to expire, Uber applied again for a full licence, but on Tuesday TfL again rejected the application, instead issuing it with a two-month private hire operator licence.

TfL said its initial decision not to licence Uber had led the firm to improve its culture and governance.

A spokesman added: “Uber London Limited has been granted a two-month private hire operator licence to allow for scrutiny of additional information that we are requesting ahead of consideration of any potential further licensing application.”

The new two-month licence will have the same conditions that Uber has been subject to over the past 15 months, along with new conditions to ensure passenger safety, including ride sharing, appropriate insurance and driver document checks by Uber.

Florence Eshalomi AM, chairman of the London Assembly Transport Committee, said: “This is a non-decision by TFL. What will it learn in two more months that it didn’t learn in the past 15 months.

“If Uber hasn’t provided the information that TfL needs then that is a concern that needs to be addressed and clarified by TfL.

“Uber may have upped its game in terms of culture and governance, however, such a short extension is evidence they still have some way to go.

“The London Assembly agreed with TfL’s decision not to renew Uber’s license, as politicians from across the political spectrum were highly concerned about its working practices and safety record.”

Steve Garelick, regional officer for GMB, said: “Uber has had more chances than a game of Monopoly.

“A two-month licence extension is no good for anyone – it leaves uncertainty for drivers and passengers, meanwhile Uber still operates an unsafe model on the streets of London.

“Transport for London has simply kicked the can down the road and shown no regard for driver or public safety.”

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