UK cities to watch Uber’s London licensing refusal decision closely

Manchester City Council (MCC) are said to be just one of a number of licensing authorities suggesting that they too will consider a ban on Uber, following its removal from the capital this week.

According to the Daily Mail, MCC accused the controversial minicab app of ‘undermining’ local standards set in the area.

London’s regulators announced on Monday that it would not grant the minicab firm a new private hire operator’s licence following its latest application.

Other councils and licensing authorities in England and Scotland have suggested they are closely monitoring the situation following Transport for London’s (TfL) decision.

Birmingham City Council will not review the private hire operators future immediately, but will look at the London decision when its licence is due for renewal in early 2020.

TfL did say that whilst they recognised that Uber had made a number of positive changes and improvements, they had identified a ‘pattern of failures by the company including several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk’.

TfL added that they did not have confidence that similar issues will not reoccur in the future, which has led it to conclude that the company is not fit and proper at this time.

Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, said: “I support the decision by TfL’s licensing officials today in relation to Uber and completely understand why the decision was taken. Keeping Londoners safe is my absolute number-one priority, and TfL have identified a pattern of failure by Uber that has directly put passengers’ safety at risk."

According to reports, Rabnawaz Akbar, Labour councillor at MCC, said: ”Whilst Uber as an Operator provides many beneficial services to customers and has transformed the private hire industry, their business model does cause some concerns.

”Local licensing standards are undermined by the volume of drivers and vehicles working on the Uber platform - as well as some other operators in Manchester - that have been licensed by authorities with much lower standards and licence conditions.

”We work hard in Manchester to ensure that our residents and visitors are driven by drivers that are fit and proper to hold a licence, and in vehicles that are safe and high quality; but that is made immeasurably harder by drivers and vehicles flooding the city from other local authorities over whom we have no direct control.”

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