Uber set to pay almost £3m to continue operating in London

The ride-hailing firm will see a big increase in the amount it has to pay for license fees to Transport for London

Shafi Musaddique
Monday 18 September 2017 16:51 BST
Transport for London's new license fee structure will hit Uber
Transport for London's new license fee structure will hit Uber (Reuters)

Uber will have to pay £2.9m over the next five years to operate in London, under a new licensing fee structure due to be introduced by Transport for London this week.

The capital’s transport operator said on Monday that it is overhauling the current fee structure for private hire companies operating in the capital.

It plans to introduce the new system under which companies with over 10,000 vehicles on London’s streets will have to pay a total of £2.9m – which includes a £580,000 application fee – for five years. Since 2013, any company with more than 10 vehicles is charged £2,826.

“The capital's private hire industry has grown dramatically, from 65,000 licensed drivers in 2013/14, to more than 116,000 today,” TfL said in a statement. “The new fees more accurately reflect the resources required to regulate firms, based on the size of their operations,” it added.

A spokesperson for Uber, which has approximately 40,000 drivers in London, told The Independent that the company supports the principle of larger operators paying higher fees. The company declined to comment further.

TfL said the money it receives from ride-hailing and taxi firms such as Uber will go towards tackling illegal activity and license enforcement.

It said that, as the market for private hire operators has grown, there has been a “substantial increase in the cost of ensuring private hire operators fulfil their licensing obligations and in tackling illegal activity to keep passengers safe”.

Over the next five years enforcement costs alone will reach £30m, up from a previous estimate of £4m, TfL said.

Uber last week introduced a number of changes to its pricing policy across the UK, making some trips in London more expensive. It said that it was scrapping UberPool rides from Heathrow Airport and reducing discount fares from the shared-ride service.

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