Uber

Uber will not be granted a new licence to operate in London after repeated safety failures, Transport for London has said.

The regulator said the taxi app was not “fit and proper” as a licence holder, despite having made a number of positive changes to its operations.

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Uber initially lost its licence in 2017 but was granted two extensions, the most recent of which expired on Sunday.

The firm will appeal and can continue to operate during that process.

About 45,000 drivers work for Uber in London, which is one of its top five markets globally.

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Why won’t Uber get a new licence?

TfL said it had identified a “pattern of failures” that placed passenger safety and security at risk.

These included a change to Uber’s systems which allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts.

It meant there were at least 14,000 fraudulent trips in London in late 2018 and early 2019, TfL said.

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The regulator also found dismissed or suspended drivers had been able to create Uber accounts and carry passengers.

Helen Chapman, Director of Licensing, Regulation and Charging at TfL, said: “While we recognise Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “I know this decision may be unpopular with Uber users, but their safety is the paramount concern. Regulations are there to keep Londoners safe.”

Rachel Wilkinson says she uses Uber in London “every single day” and loves the service.

“I must have met and travelled with more than a thousand drivers. In all that time I’ve only had two incidents where I thought ‘wow, he was rude/weird’- but I’ve never felt unsafe.

“I’ve always been collected and got where I needed to quickly and efficiently. In fact, I’m continually amazed by how efficient they are.”

Source: BBC