Wednesday, September 13, 2017

There's a serious chance Uber won't be allowed to operate in London

There’s a real chance Uber won’t be allowed to operate in London, with the city’s transport authorities spooked by the firm’s history of poor behaviour.

Three board members at London’s transport regulator, Transport for London, want Uber’s operator licence cancelled, or renewed only with strict conditions, according to The Sunday Times.

They are particularly worried about Uber’s corporate behaviour, predominantly in the US where the firm is being investigated by the FBI for using secret software to evade local regulators.

A leaked letter that TfL board member Michael Liebrich sent questions Uber’s alleged “regulatory evasion”, its passenger safety record, and the way it rates passengers.

The newspaper quotes a second board member as saying: “My position is that we shouldn’t renew the licence. I did raise concerns about the way Uber reportedly ‘games’ its application to deceive regulators, also issues around increasing congestion and private hire vehicle numbers.”

Transport for London is responsible for licensing black cab and private-hire drivers, as well as private-hire operators like Uber.

It’s under serious pressure either to revoke Uber’s licence or to impose serious restrictions on the company when the firm’s licence comes up for renewal at the end of September.

Former Uber drivers, black cab firms, the police, and MPs have all been hugely critical of the firm over the last two years, claiming that drivers end up out-of-pocket, and that Uber fails to adequately report sexual assault.They argue that Uber has unfairly wriggled around existing rules and regulation to the detriment of London’s traditional black taxis.

Uber’s licence actually came up for renewal earlier this year, and TfL granted the company a four-month licence. In the meantime, it launched a consultation on whether to hike up the fees for a private-hire operator licence.

That means that even if Uber wins a five-year licence, it could end up paying more than £2 million for its 40,000 drivers in the city.

Uber said in a statement to The Sunday Times: “Over 3m Londoners regularly use Uber. We want to continue to do so.”

The news comes as Taxify, a cheap rival to Uber, had its licence revoked by Transport for London. The company has appealed the decision.


Anonymous said...

Unlikely. TFL needs to be put under a lot more pressure, with more highly publicised media events against Uber. They need to be forced or embarrassed into action. Private hire, taxis and all others who want to stop Uber taking over must unite and demonstrate fiercely. Also needs lots of government MPs support and actions.

Anonymous said...

Please also write or contact your local MAP to highlight this whole uber problem. The word needs spreading and action taken. Share on your Facebook, Twitter, etc all the media Uber bad news stories. Action required still.

Anonymous said...

Could be that if the London license isn't renewed, they'll simply base their operation in another LA area & continue to abuse the cross-border hire situation.
Wolverhampton is looking favourite at the moment.

Anonymous said...

If TFL show some authority and do this, other authorities will follow and Uber will have nowhere to go. Already other licensing authorities have refused to license Uber. TFL, being a large licensing authority really should be leading the way in correct regulation instead of being weak and ineffective. Hence TFL should be replaced.

Anonymous said...

To me uber are giving in far too easy like they don't care but be warned there is people ready to fill there place rebranding uber ????? Change the name and more brown envelope to me something just don't seem right