Uber has been stripped of their London licence by Transport for London (TfL) over passenger safety fears.
TfL said they have not renewed Uber’s licence after “several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk.”
TfL said in a statement, “Despite addressing some of these issues, TfL 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.”
Helen Chapman, director of licensing and regulation at TfL said, “As the regulator of private hire services in London we are required to make a decision today on whether Uber is fit and proper to hold a licence. Safety is our absolute top priority.
“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.
“It is clearly concerning that these issues arose, but it is also concerning that we cannot be confident that similar issues won’t happen again in future.
“If they choose to appeal, Uber will have the opportunity to publicly demonstrate to a magistrate whether it has put in place sufficient measures to ensure potential safety risks to passengers are eliminated.
“If they do appeal, Uber can continue to operate, and we will closely scrutinise the company to ensure the management has robust controls in place to ensure safety is not compromised during any changes to the app.”
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan 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.
“There is undoubtedly a place for innovative companies in London – in fact we are home to some of the best in the world. But it is essential that companies play by the rules to keep their customers safe.
“Only in the last few months it has been established that 14,000 Uber journeys have involved fraudulent drivers uploading their photos to other driver accounts – with passengers’ safety potentially put at risk getting into cars with unlicensed and suspended drivers. At this stage TfL can’t be confident that Uber has the robust processes in place to prevent another serious safety breach in the future.
“I know this decision may be unpopular with Uber users, but their safety is the paramount concern. Regulations are there to keep Londoners safe, and fully complying with TfL’s strict standards is essential if private hire operators want a licence to operate in London.”