Transport for London (TfL) has today (September 22) made the decision not to issue ride-sharing company Uber London Limited with a private hire operator licence after its current one expires on September 30.

TfL says its regulation of taxis and private hire companies is designed to “ensure passenger safety”. The authority says it has concluded that Uber is not “fit and proper to hold a private operator licence”.

In a press release, TfL comments that it considers Uber’s approach and conduct on a number of issues “demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility”, saying it does not agree with the company’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences, DBS checks and its use of Greyball software, which prevents regulatory bodies from gaining access to the app in order to undertake regulatory or law enforcement duties.

Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision and can continue to operate until any and all appeal processes have been exhausted. 

In a statement, Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in London, said: “To defend the livelihoods of all those drivers, and the consumer choice of millions of Londoners who use our app, we intend to immediately challenge this in the courts.”

Elvidge claims Uber drivers are subject to the same DBS checks as black cab drivers, while an independent review “has found that ‘greyball’ has never been used or considered in the UK for the purposes cited by TfL”. He went on to say if the decision is upheld, 40,000 licensed drivers would be out of work.

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