Hope for London’s Uber fans after TfL talks


There is some hope for Uber users in London that a decision to strip the ride-hailing app of its operating licence could be overturned.

Talks in the capital between the company’s new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi and transport commissioner Mike Brown were described by both sides as “constructive”.

Uber has pledged to “make things right” since its operating licence renewal was rejected last month on the grounds of “public safety and security implications”.

The firm’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers were cited among the concerns.

Its 40,000 drivers are only able to continue serving customers because it is lodging an appeal against Transport for London’s (TfL’s) decision.

A spokesman for the company said: “Our new chief executive had a constructive meeting with the transport commissioner this afternoon.

“We hope to have further discussions over the coming weeks as we are determined to make things right in London.”

A TfL spokeswoman said: “Today’s constructive meeting centred on what needs to happen to ensure a thriving taxi and private hire market in London where everyone operates to the same high standards.

“Further steps in this process will take place over the coming weeks.”

Mr Khosrowshahi’s decision to make the trip for the meeting with TfL boss Mike Brown demonstrates the importance of the London market to Uber – its largest in Europe.

Mr Khosrowshahi, who was appointed Uber chief executive in Augustafter the acrimonious departure of co-founder Travis Kalanick, has promised change at the company – admitting “mistakes” in a conciliatory open letter to London after the licensing setback.

Uber’s expansion has been blighted by regulatory and legal complications worldwide, including wrangles over the employment rights of its drivers in the UK.

It was announced on Monday that its regional manager for northern Europe Jo Bertram – who was once solely responsible for operations in London – had quit Uber.