London renews Uber licence for 4 months only

LONDON: Ride-hailing app Uber’s licence to operate in London has been renewed but only for a period of four months, as transport authorities continue to deliberate whether to grant it a five-year licence, the media reported.
The decision over renewal has become the latest focus of controversy with unions demanding that Transport for London (TfL) reject the application without assurances over Uber’s operation and working practices, the Guardian reported.
The GMB trade union and the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association (LTDA) have threatened legal challenges to TfL granting Uber a new licence.
The LTDA has argued that Uber is not a fit and proper operator and is jeopardising public safety, while the GMB has demanded TfL impose conditions to secure the health and safety of drivers, passengers and other road users.
Two drivers won a GMB-backed case against Uber in an employment tribunal last year, which ruled that its drivers were not self-employed contractors but workers with holiday and pay entitlements. Uber is challenging the ruling, the daily reported.
Uber was originally licensed in London in 2012 and its five-year private hire licence is scheduled to expire on May 30.
In response, an Uber spokesperson 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,” the spokesperson added. — IANS