show image

Oscar Williams

News editor

Uber’s set to appeal TfL’s decision to revoke its licence

Uber is to be stripped of its licence to operate in London, TfL has announced.

The ride-hailing firm’s licence will expire on 30 September, but it retains the right to operate in the capital during the appeal process.

Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, said the company would “immediately challenge the decision in the courts”.

TfL said in a statement that Uber’s conduct demonstrated a lack of corporate responsibility, citing issues about public safety and security.

The transport regulator added that it was concerned about Uber’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences, obtaining medical certificates and driver background checks, and explaining the use of Greyball software.

The software “could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app and prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement issues”, claimed TfL.

Elvidge said in a statement: “Drivers who use Uber are licensed by Transport for London and have been through the same enhanced DBS background checks as black cab drivers. Our pioneering technology has gone further to enhance safety with every trip tracked and recorded by GPS.”

He added: “We have always followed TfL rules on reporting serious incidents and have a dedicated team who work closely with the Metropolitan Police. As we have already told TfL, an independent review has found that ‘greyball’ has never been used or considered in the UK for the purposes cited by TfL.”

Around 3.5 million Londoners use Uber and more than 40,000 licensed drivers rely on it to make a living, according to the firm. “This ban would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies who bring choice to consumers,” Elvidge said.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said he backed 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 Londoner’s safety and security.”

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

Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision.