Uber has been told Transport for London will not renew its licence in the capital over safety concerns.
However, customers will still be able to use the service because Uber has said it will appeal the decision – and rules state it can continue to operate during the appeals process.
TfL identified several serious breaches, involving insurance-related issues. One involved a change to Uber’s systems that allowed unauthorised drivers to upload their photos to other legitimate driver accounts.
This let them pick up passengers as though they were the booked Uber driver on at least 14,000 trips, which meant all those journeys were uninsured, TfL said.
Uber was given 15-month licence in June 2018, extended by two months this September, after it successfully appealed a TfL decision in 2017 not to renew its licence over safety concerns.
TfL said it made the decision today because ‘safety is our top priority’.
Director of licensing Helen Chapman said: “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.”
Uber’s regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe, Jamie Heywood, said: “TfL’s decision not to renew Uber’s licence in London is extraordinary and wrong, and we will appeal.
“We have fundamentally changed our business over the last two years and are setting the standard on safety. TfL found us to be a fit and proper operator just two months ago, and we continue to go above and beyond.
“On behalf of the 3.5 million riders and 45,000 licensed drivers who depend on Uber in London, we will continue to operate as normal and will do everything we can to work with TfL to resolve this situation.”