Uber London ban: Sadiq Khan and TFL’s statement in full after ride-hailing app’s licence not renewed

Neil Lancefield
Friday 22 September 2017 11:45
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Uber was given just a four-month temporary licence for London in May.
Uber was given just a four-month temporary licence for London in May.

Uber will not be issued with an operating licence after its current deal expires on September 30, Transport for London (TfL) has announced.

TfL concluded that the minicab app is "not fit and proper" to operate in the capital due to concerns which have "public safety and security implications".

These include its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and how it carries out background checks on its drivers.

TfL's full statement is as follows:

"Transport for London (TfL) has today 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.

"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.

"TfL has concludeed that Uber London Limited is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence.

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

  • Its approach to reporting serious criminal offences.
  • Its approach to how medical certificates are obtained. 
  • Its approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained. 

Its approach to explaining the use of Greyball in London, software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app and prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties.

"The Private Hire Vehicles (London) Act 1998 includes provision to appeal a licencing decision within 21 days of it being communicated to the applicant. Uber London Limited can continue to operate until any appeal processes have been exhausted.

"No further comment will be made by TfL pending any appeal of this decision."

Uber was given just a four-month temporary licence in May.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said in a statement: "I want London to be at the forefront of innovation and new technology and to be a natural home for exciting new companies that help Londoners by providing a better and more affordable service.

"However, 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.

"Any operator of private hire services in London needs to play by the rules."

Press Association

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