Regulator says Uber’s license to operate taxis in London will be withdrawn on safety grounds

  • November 26, 2019

Transport for London (TfL) has said it will not grant Uber a new taxi operator’s licence which could lead to the service being suspended.

TfL said it had identified a “pattern of failures” by the company including several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk.

Despite Uber having addressed some of these issues, TfL said it does 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.

A key issue identified was that a change to Uber’s systems allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts.

This allowed them to pick up passengers as though they were the booked driver, which occurred in at least 14,000 trips – putting passenger safety and security at risk.

It also meant that all those journeys were uninsured and some passenger journeys took place with unlicensed drivers, one of which had previously had their licence revoked by TfL.

Another failure allowed dismissed or suspended drivers to create an Uber account and carry passengers, again compromising passenger safety and security.

TfL said a “pattern” of regulatory breaches led them to commission an independent assessment of Uber’s ability to prevent incidents of this nature happening again.

That work led TfL to conclude that it currently does not have confidence that Uber has a robust system for protecting passenger safety, while managing changes to its app.

Uber now has 21 days to appeal, during which it can continue to operate pending any appeal and throughout any potential appeals process.