Uber expected to hear London licence fate today as expiry date edges closer

Ride hailing-firm Uber are expected to hear their fate today in regards to its future operating licence in London.

On 24 September, Transport for London (TfL) 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 two-month licence had 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 covered ride sharing, appropriate insurance and driver document checks by Uber. 

TfL said at the time it was requesting additional material from ULL and this additional information will help inform any future licensing decision.

Today is one of the last working days available to regulators TfL to announce their decision on Uber’s future in the capital.

According to a poll conducted by TaxiPoint, 39% of readers thought the US minicab operator would receive a ‘shorter’ operator's licence. Fully compliant operators are usually awarded five-year licenses, of which 38% of readers think this will be the likely outcome. 23% of readers thought TfL would deny Uber its licence.

A Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) spokesperson said soon after the decision in September: “Granting Uber a two month temporary licence clearly shows that the firm has failed its probation 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, also added at the time: “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.” 

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