The future of Uber is looking tentative in the British capital, after transport authorities have extended their operating licence for just four months.
Transport for London have only guaranteed the taxi app four more months to continue the service, while they deliberate over Uber’s future in London.
A five year licence could be granted to Uber but this is currently under consideration by TfL, amid protests from black cab driver unions, who are demanding the governing body reject Uber’s application.
A TfL spokesperson said: “Uber London Limited has been granted a four-month private hire operator licence. This will allow us to conclude our consideration of a five-year licence” but refused to comment further on individual licence applications.
The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association have argued that Uber jeopardises public safety, while the GMB has demanded TfL impose conditions to secure the health and safety of drivers, passengers and other road users, reports the Guardian.
Steve McNamara, general secretary of the LTDA, said:
Uber has still not answered questions that TfL asked months ago. We say they are either safe to licence or they’re not.
You can’t be a little bit pregnant. We think that TfL’s reason for this temporary licence is unlawful. This is totally unprecedented. We will be challenging this coward’s decision.
A confident Uber spokesperson, in defence of the company, said:
Millions of Londoners rely on Uber to get a reliable ride at the touch of a button and thousands of licensed drivers make money through our app.
We look forward to continuing to help keep London moving.
Meanwhile, we’re all wondering how the hell we coped using our legs and personal sense of direction before Uber began operation way back when in 2012.