Updated: Jun 10, 2022
Transport for London (TfL) can suspend or revoke private hire operator licences if they fail to comply with new conditions, says Government Transport Minister.
The comments follow a recent High Court judgment which ruled London private hire vehicle (PHV) operators should contract directly with passengers rather than through its drivers. Operators were also told they must ensure that passengers have appropriate legal recourse in the event that something goes wrong during a private hire journey.
In the landmark December 2021 ruling, the High Court Administrative Court refused Uber’s application declaring its gig-economy business model must change.
The ruling followed Uber seeking a declaration from the High Court that it is lawful for Uber’s drivers to continue to contract directly with Uber’s passengers for transport services. Uber had argued that its role was confined merely to that of an internet booking agent and that it was not party to any contract for the provision of transport.
The ruling has now fundamentally restructured the private hire industry in London as almost all TfL’s 1,800 licensed operators used the model of operation in question since the industry first came under regulatory supervision in 2002.
Julian Knight MP asked the Secretary of State for Transport Grant Shapps, what steps his Department is taking to ensure TfL are enforcing compliance.
Trudy Harrison, Transport Minister, replied: “Private hire vehicle (PHV) legislation in London requires London PHV operator licence holders to comply with conditions attached to their licence, such as that set by regulation 9(14) of the Private Hire Vehicles (London) (Operators' Licences) Regulations 2000, as amended.
“If a London PHV operator licence holder fails to comply with a condition of their licence the legislation provides that the licensing authority, Transport for London, can suspend or revoke the licence.”