Uber’s London license expires tomorrow and has been extended by regulator Transport for London for just two months…


The battle between Uber and TfL dates back to 2017 when it was told that its license to operate in London would not be renewed.

Transport for London (TfL) says it concluded that the company was ‘not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence,’ citing four reasons …

TfL’s statement said that the company posed a threat to public safety and security for a number of reasons, including:

  • Its approach to reporting serious criminal offences.
  • Its approach to how medical certificates are obtained.
  • Its approach to how Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks are obtained.
  • Its approach to explaining the use of Greyball in London – software that could be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app and prevent officials from undertaking regulatory or law enforcement duties.

Uber fought back with four measures, one of which was a legal challenge. The company got a temporary reprieve in the form of a 15-month extension to its existing license rather than the usual five-year renewal. That extension expires tomorrow.

Uber’s London license extended for two months

Reuters reports that TfL is still not satisfied that Uber has made all the changes necessary to grant the company a new five-year license. It is extending Uber’s license by a further two months and will expect documented compliance evidence within that time.

TfL said the new two-month license comes with “new conditions to ensure passenger safety” and it wanted more details from the company.

“Uber London Limited has been granted a two-month private hire operator license to allow for scrutiny of additional information that we are requesting ahead of consideration of any potential further licensing application,” said a spokesman.

Uber said it will work closely with TfL and provide any additional information.

It’s understood that Uber needs to prove that it is carrying out proper document checks of drivers, to ensure they have the required minicab license and hire-and-reward insurance.

London generates around 5% of Uber’s worldwide business.

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Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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