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Uber loses its license to operate in London

In an enormous blow to Uber in the United Kingdom London’s delivery regulator has rejected its software to renew its license to operate in the town.

In a commentary nowadays TfL stated it has concluded that Uber is “not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence”.

“TfL’s regulation of London’s taxi and private hire trades is designed to ensure passenger safety.  Private hire operators must meet rigorous regulations, and demonstrate to TfL that they do so, in order to operate.  TfL must also be satisfied that an operator is fit and proper to hold a licence,” it stated.

Uber is predicted to enchantment.

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Uber’s present license to operate in London is due to expire on September 30. The corporate claims to have some three.five million customers in London and round 40,000 drivers working on its platform.

The corporate’s prior license expired in May however was once prolonged for 4 months because the regulator persevered to planned over whether or not it will have to grant Uber any other complete 5 yr time period in the face of emerging complaint towards its trade — together with on problems comparable to staff’ rights and public protection.

Earlier this month a cross-party staff of MPs wrote to TfL urging it to strip the corporate of its license to operate in the United Kingdom capital, arguing the corporate has now not proven itself to be a “fit and proper operator”. This adopted accusations made this summer season by way of London’s Met Police that Uber has been failing to record intercourse assaults by way of drivers on its platform.

While ultimate yr the GMB Union helped convey two take a look at instances to a UK employment tribunal accusing Uber of performing unlawfully by way of now not offering drivers with fundamental staff’ rights like vacation pay and the minimal salary.

In October the tribunal delivered its verdict, rejecting Uber’s argument that the drivers in query have been self-employed contractors — as a substitute judging them to be staff, surroundings a prison precedent for different Uber drivers to problem the corporate. (Although Uber has appealed the ruling.)

The union passed a petition to TfL this month urging it to insist on limits to Uber driving force hours as a situation of renewing Uber’s license .

The regulator has additionally confronted force from London’s black cab drivers over perceived inequality in the regulatory regimes of personal rent automobiles and standard taxis.

London’s Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) pressed TfL to reject a complete renewal of Uber’s license — arguing that its style is illegal and dangers public protection, whilst additionally pointing to emerging numbers of personal rent automobiles (PHV) in London as contributing to the town’s congestion and air pollution drawback.

Earlier this week TfL introduced a brand new pricing machine for PHV licenses, inflating charges for acquiring a license. TfL stated the fee rises have been vital to deal with dramatic will increase in the numbers of PHVs on London’s roads, noting it had now not reviewed costs for PHV licensing since 2013.

The new regime brings in many extra pricing tiers, relying at the dimension of the fleet being operated. The most costly tier — for operators (comparable to Uber) that experience greater than 10,001 automobiles — has risen from round £three,000 below the prior licensing regime to £2.9M.

While, ultimate yr, Uber suggested off what can have been a much more primary obstacle to its trade in London when TfL dropped a sequence of proposed adjustments to PHV regulations — together with implementing a five-minute minimal wait length between ordering and acquiring a trip.

Although the regulator did push on with different new measures, comparable to a proper English language requirement for drivers. Uber went on to problem that in courtroom — a problem that was once rejected in March, even though Uber stated it meant to enchantment.

Zooming out to the European degree, Uber may be looking ahead to what is going to be a extremely vital ruling by way of Europe’s best courtroom at the classification of its trade — to supply readability to regulators on whether or not it’s a transportation corporate or simply an enabling tech platform as Uber tries to declare.

Earlier this yr an influential guide to the courtroom deemed Uber’s process is certainly to supply transportation services and products, relatively than simply being an middleman platform. A last ruling by way of the courtroom is predicted 3 to six months after the AG’s opinion — so most likely by way of November.

Featured Image: Carl Court/Getty Images

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