Uber Birmingham: Firm 'likely' to have licence extended
Written by The Newsroom on January 21, 2020
Uber is expected to have its licence extended in Birmingham next month amid uncertainty over the private hire firm’s future in London.
Transport for London (TfL) told Uber in November it would not be granted a new licence after repeated safety failures.
The licence in Birmingham is due to expire at the end of January, but the city council says it is likely to be renewed.
The authority said it would however be monitoring the situation in London.
TfL revoked Uber’s licence in London after claiming unauthorised drivers uploaded their photos to other Uber driver accounts. It meant at least 14,000 fraudulent trips were made in London in late 2018 and early 2019.
Uber has previously said the decision to revoke its London licence was “extraordinary and wrong.”
The company has been allowed to continue operating in London while it appeals against the banning order. A case is expected to be heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this summer.
Uber, which has operated in Birmingham since 2015, currently has a licence in the city until 31 January.
A final decision is yet to be made, but a council spokesman said it is “likely to be renewed.”
The spokesman added that if Uber loses its appeal and the banning order comes into force in the capital then it would be a “matter of concern.”
The BBC has contacted Uber for comment.
TfL said the taxi app was not “fit and proper” as a licence holder despite making a number of positive changes to its operations.
Helen Chapman, director of licensing at TfL, 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.”
Uber initially lost its licence in 2017, but was granted two extensions.
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Updates from the Cannock Chase Radio News Desk via BBC Birmingham and Black Country