Carshalton and Wallington MP Tom Brake has welcomed Transport for London’s decision to deny Uber a renewed licence today.
Transport for London (TfL) ruled that Uber is not ‘fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence’ but the company has confirmed it will appeal the decision.
Uber had been investigated by TfL for issues that posed a threat to public safety and security, including the company’s approach to reporting serious crimes.
Mr Brake has backed TfL’s ruling, but warned that the situation has not been fully resolved.
He said: “I have had some longstanding concerns at some aspects of Uber’s operations, such as the ability to monitor their drivers properly.
“TfL were right to take the action they’ve taken as it ensures that Uber operates on a level playing field with other operators.
“I believe there is room for both private hire vehicles, Uber and black cabs in London operating with the same safety standards.
“There is still a fundamental issue of such large numbers of Uber drivers operating in London and the government needs to take action on the numbers plying their trade in London as the roads are nearly at saturation point.”
After Uber’s five-year licence expired in May, the company was granted a four-month temporary licence to allow time for TfL to conduct the investigation.
The current licence expires on September 30, but the ruling makes clear that Uber’s service can continue to operate while any appeal process is ongoing.
The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) welcomed the decision but expected further legal action from Uber.
General secretary Steve McNamara said: “We expect Uber will again embark on a spurious legal challenge against the Mayor and TfL, and we will urge the court to uphold the decision.”
Uber spokesperson Fred Jones told Sky News: “We are going to challenge the decision immediately.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Kahn supported TfL’s decision, referencing the safety and security of Londoners as a key factor in the ruling.
Speaking to Sky News he added: “I understand why Uber drivers and passengers are angry at Uber for not playing by the rules.”
The 3.5 million Uber users in London will still be able to hail taxis using the app until the appeal process has ended, expected to be in mid-October.
Justin Peters, chief executive of Kabbee, a minicab comparison website, told Sky News: “Passengers were picked up before Uber and they’ll continue to be picked up by other companies.”