City bosses will be “looking closely” at whether Uber is allowed to continue operating in Cambridge following news that Transport for London (TfL) won’t renew its licence in London.
It was announced on Friday (September 22) that TfL will not renew Uber’s private hire operator licence after it expires on September 30.
The capital’s transport regulator said the Silicon Valley technology giant’s approach and conduct was not fit and proper to hold a private vehicle hire license.
It also cited Uber's approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers for its decision.
A spokesman for Cambridge City Council said: “We note the announcement by TfL today that it will not be renewing Uber’s licence.
“Uber currently holds a one year private hire operator licence with the council and this will expire in December.
“We will look closely at the detail of TfL’s decision and the likely appeal Uber has indicated it will lodge against that decision before considering Uber’s operator licence in Cambridge, and whether that licence should be renewed or not.”
The council is responsible for licensing all Hackney carriage, private hire and dual drivers, as well as minicab proprietors and operators in Cambridge.
The spokesman for the authority added that the council’s top priority is public safety, which is why it carries out enhanced checks for criminal records on all taxi drivers before issuing licences.
South Cambridgeshire District Council has also said it will look closely at the detail of the TfL decision against Uber today (September 22)- including a likely appeal the taxi company has said it will lodge.
The authority has granted 50 private hire licences for Uber drivers but wants to reassure local people that all minicab drivers in the area have been through the same rigorous checks - no matter who they drive for.
Cllr Mark Howell, South Cambridgeshire District Council’s cabinet member responsible for licensing, said: “The decision in London is not to renew the company licence for Uber and our job now is to understand in detail why.
“The information Transport for London have published so far does not give us enough detail but I can reassure local people that we will be looking in to it closely.
“Uber has 50 drivers licensed by us and we assess all drivers in exactly the same way – it does not matter which company they drive for." -Apart from the ones Cambridge licence, hundreds of London Uber drivers registered with TfL, work the app in the Cambridge area.
"We include the most stringent enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service checks". -It's alleged London Uber drivers submitted 13,000 fake DBS certificates.
Cambridge MP and member of the Transport Select Committee and Shadow Transport Minister, Daniel Zeichner, said he was introducing a Private Member's Bill to improve safety standards in the taxi industry.
“The government has known for a long time that it needs to sort out taxi and private hire licensing, but has just dug its heels in and refused to act or make these tough decisions," he said. (Follow the money)
“It’s time for them to act, to protect authorities like TfL who are responsible for the safety of those using transport, but who don’t have the power to actually kick out bad working practices.
"At the moment, they are risking TfL being exposed to 30,000 or 40,000 drivers licensed elsewhere but working in London.
“I hope that my Private Members‘ Bill, entitled the Licensing of Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Safeguarding and Road Safety) Bill, will go some way to improving the industry’s safety standards, but it’s clear that they government really need to act and provide a joined-up, coherent revamp of the rules.
“Some of the current laws date back to the Victorian times.
"I hope the government will support my Bill in February, but I also hope that this kind of brave move by TfL will push them into taking some sensible action.“
Source : Cambridge-News.co.uk