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Uber London denied licence to operate

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Uber London Limited will not be permitted to operate in United Kingdom’s capital and largest city after the ride-hailing firm’s current temporary licence expires at the end of this month.

In a brief statement, Transport for London (TfL) announced that they informed Uber London Limited of their decision earlier today, 22 September.

Uber London - Earls Court - pixabay-2666083Uber have 21 days to appeal against TfL’s decision not to renew the private car hire firm’s licence to operate in London. Image: street in Earls Court, credit pixabay-2666083.

‘Lack of corporate responsibility’

Uber have 21 days to appeal against the decision, which TfL say was made primarily because the firm “is not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence.”

TfL is a local government body that has powers to decide most issues that affect the transport system in England’s capital.

Uber London Limited was granted a 5-year private hire operator licence in 2012. On 26 May this year, TfL renewed it for 4 months only, while they considered whether to grant the firm the full 5-year licence. This temporary licence expires on 30 September.

By way of explaining their decision, TfL say that Uber London Limited have shown a “lack of corporate responsibility” that has implications for “public safety and security.”

Use of Greyball

The London transport body says that it is not satisfied with the firm’s approach to “reporting serious criminal offences,” and how it obtains medical certificates.

They are also not happy with the way that Uber obtains Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks, and the way that it explains the use of Greyball in London.

TfL describe Greyball as a program that can be used to deny regulators full access to the ride-hailing app, and thus “prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties.”

Uber can operate until appeals exhausted

Under the law, Uber London Limited can continue to operate until all appeal processes come to an end.

In the meantime, pending any appeal, TfL say that they will not be making any further comments on their decision.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, says that he supports TfL’s decision and comments that, “Any operator of private hire services in London needs to play by the rules.”