Transport for London (TfL) has announced its decision to issue Uber London Limited (ULL) with a two-month private hire operator licence ahead of consideration of any potential further licensing application.
The new two-month licence will have the same conditions that ULL has been subject to over the last 15 months, along with new conditions to ensure passenger safety.
These new conditions cover ride sharing, appropriate insurance and driver document checks by Uber.
TfL’s original decision not to license ULL has led to the app-based firm improving its culture and governance. TfL is requesting additional material from ULL and this additional information will help inform any future licensing decision.
A TfL spokesperson said: “Uber London Limited has been granted a two-month private hire operator licence to allow for scrutiny of additional information that we are requesting ahead of consideration of any potential further licensing application.”
A Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Assoociation (LTDA) spokesperson said: “Granting Uber a two month temporary licence clearly shows that the firm has failed its probabation and is still a huge threat to public safety.
“Over the last 15 months Uber were supposed to change its operations for the better, but the firm has continued to shirk its responsibilities. The granting of the shortest operator’s licence ever shows the Mayor doesn’t trust Uber, and neither should Londoners.
“It’s time the Mayor pulled the plug on Uber’s immoral operation for good.”
The Chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, Florence Eshalomi AM said: “This is a non-decision by TfL. What will it learn in two more months that it didn’t learn in the last 15 months? “If Uber hasn’t provided the information that TfL needs then that is a concern that needs to be addressed and clarified by TfL. “Uber may have upped its game in terms of culture and governance, however, such a short extension is evidence they still have some way to go. “The London Assembly agreed with TfL’s decision not to renew Uber’s license, as politicians from across the political spectrum were highly concerned about its working practices and safety record. “We look forward to further information on this extension. The safety of Londoners must come first.”
David Savage, UK General Manager at FREE NOW, said: "TfL’s decision to provisionally renew Uber’s licence for another two months to address safety concerns is a small step in the right direction towards better private hire cab standards across the capital. "Should its standards not improve, TfL needs to be brave enough to halt its license to ensure that Londoners have the high quality, accessible and safe transport network that they deserve.”
Check back for more reaction to follow...