Taxi for Uber: Ride-hailing app giant stripped of licence to operate in London

String of failures put passengers at risk, says city transport authority

Two women hailing a ride

Transport for London has ruled that Uber is not fit to run a minicab business in the UK capital.

The authority detailed a string of security, insurance and safety failures by the taxi hailing app biz which means it will not get a new private operator's licence. Uber got a temporary two-month licence in September while TfL carried out more checks.

TFL said the "pattern of failures placed passenger safety and security at risk".

A hole in Uber's systems allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their pictures to other drivers' accounts. As a result, passengers assumed their driver was someone else and meant that 14,000 journeys were made without insurance.

Some trips were undertaken by drivers previously banned by TfL, and another hole allowed suspended or dismissed drivers to create new Uber accounts.

The regulator said that Uber had made some progress in getting its house in order but there remained concerns that systems were so easily manipulated.

Helen Chapman, director of licensing, regulation and charging at TfL, said: "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."

The company has 21 days to appeal the decision.

TfL said it will continue to scrutinise Uber while it continues to operate to see if it can meet the 20 conditions set out in the last court hearing.

Uber told the BBC the decision was extraordinary and wrong and it would appeal. It claimed to have strengthened processes.

From its minicab roots, the company also now offers electric bike hire and takeaway delivery.

It originally lost its licence back in 2018.

Uber was also criticised for bunging a hacker $100,000 in a failed attempt to cover up a data loss. ®

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