Ride-sharing app Uber has been granted a license to operate in London, England, for 15 months.
Uber has been granted a short-term license to operate in the city of London, England, for the next 15 months. The company was initially told by Transport for London that the company was not a “fit and proper” operator, but an appeal by the company has seen them placed on a probationary period over the next 15 months while receiving a short-term operating license. During a hearing before the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot ruled that the company was now considered “fit and proper.”
The ride-sharing powerhouse was required to pay TfL’s legal fees of £425,000. The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, commented on the case saying: “After years of operating poorly in London, Uber has now accepted that TfL’s action in refusing to renew their licence was totally justified. Today our stance has been vindicated by the court. Uber has been put on probation – their 15 month license has a clear set of conditions that TfL will thoroughly monitor and enforce.”
Uber’s UK general manager, Tom Elvidge, commented on the ruling saying: “We will continue to work with TfL to address their concerns and earn their trust, while providing the best possible service for our customers.”
Today’s verdict means that Uber is now free to operate in London but will be under the watchful eye of Transport for London, who can revoke their license. Helen Chapman, the licensing, regulation and charging director at TfL said: “I think we have had five years of a very difficult relationship where Uber has felt they haven’t required regulation and being operated in the same way as everybody else we regulate.” Chapman stated that if properly implemented by Uber, the changes that TfL have suggested “could, if applied correctly, enhance public safety.”
Uber has implemented a number of changes, Uber drivers can now only use the Uber app in the area in which they hold a private hire license. Licensed drivers also must take an uninterrupted six-hour break after ten hours of operating as an Uber driver. Uber also updated their app to “make it clearer” to Uber users that the company’s drivers are licensed by TfL.