Uber lost its license in London- the same day its existing license was set to expire- after a transport company brought safety concerns to the forefront.
According to the NY Post, Helen Chapman, the agency’s licensing, regulating, and charging director, released a statement explaining the reasoning behind the company’s license revocation, stating, “Safety is our absolute top priority. While we recognize Uber has made improvements, it is unacceptable that Uber has allowed passengers to get into minicabs with drivers who are potentially unlicensed and uninsured.”
While the removal of Uber’s license took place on Monday, the decision will not immediately go into effect. Uber can and will continue to operate in London during the three weeks it has to file an appeal and throughout the appeal process, according to officials.
In a statement released by Uber’s regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe, Jamie Heywood said, “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.”
This isn’t the first time Transport for London has tried to sever all ties with Uber. Back in 2017, the agency tried to give Uber the boot after safety concerns. However, Uber successfully appealed the decision.
Part of the security concern was because unauthorized drivers were uploading photos to other driver’s accounts, which allowed them access to pretend to be the real driver while picking us passengers. This particular issue took place on an alleged 14,000 trips, according to the agency. Other instances allowed for previously suspended and dismissed drivers to create new accounts to pick up riders.
“It is clearly concerning that these issues arose, but it also concerning that we cannot be confident that similar issues won’t happen again in the future,” Chapman said about the safety issues in London.
Speaking out against the safety concerns, Uber reassures passengers that they have different features in place to ensure everyone’s safety, including a 24-hour hotline. “We have robust systems and checks in place to confirm the identity of drivers and will soon be introducing a new facial matching process, which we believe is a first in London taxi and private hire,” Heywood said.
Uber also claims that within the last two months, they have had all of its London drivers audited.