UK

Uber Could Be About To Make Big Concessions To Keep London Licence

Passenger safety and driver benefits among issues, reports say.

24/09/2017 09:42 BST | Updated 24/09/2017 09:42 BST

Uber is prepared to make concessions as it seeks to reverse a decision by London officials not to renew its licence in the city, according to reports.

The Sunday Times quoted sources close to London’s transport body as saying the move to concede on safety and driver benefits was encouraging and suggested the possibility of talks.

“While we haven’t been asked to make any changes, we’d like to know what we can do,” Tom Elvidge, Uber’s general manager in London, told the newspaper. “But that requires a dialogue we sadly haven’t been able to have recently.”

PA Wire/PA Images
Uber could be preparing to make significant changes to its business in London in a bid to keep its licence

A spokesman for Transport for London (TfL) declined to comment.

The Sunday Times said the global taxi tech firm’s concessions were likely to involve passenger safety and benefits for its drivers, possible limits on working hours to improve road safety and holiday pay.

TfL stunned the powerful US start-up on Friday when it deemed Uber unfit to run a taxi service for safety reasons and stripped it of its licence from September 30, although the company can continue to operate while it appeals.

The regulator cited failures to report serious criminal offences, conduct sufficient background checks on drivers and other safety issues.

Uber responded by urging users in London to sign a petition that said the city authorities had “caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice”. The move echoed Uber’s strategy in disputes with other cities.

By 2200 GMT on Saturday, more than 600,000 people had signed although it was not clear how many of them were in London.

HuffPost UK reported on Saturday on what you need to know about the petition before signing it.

A spokesman for Uber said around 20,000 Uber drivers had emailed the city’s mayor directly to object to the decision, Reuters reported.