Uber (6)

MQT on 2017-09-14
Session date: 
September 14, 2017
Question By: 
David Kurten
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


Will you instruct TfL to ensure Uber geo-fence its operations to the boundaries of London to ensure that only TfL registered drivers and vehicles operate in London.  In addition, instruct TfL drivers and vehicles to only operate outside of London if a booking is sub-contracted via another PH Operator holding that license outside of London.


Answer for Uber (6)

Answer for Uber (6)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

As it stands, private hire vehicles are not legally restricted from taking bookings anywhere in England and Wales, provided the vehicle, driver and operator are licenced by the same licensing authority and the booking is accepted at the licensed operating centre within this authority.

With this in mind, it would not be legal for TfL to instruct Uber or any other private hire operator to ensure their bookings are carried out solely in the area in which their drivers are licensed.

As I am sure you agree, this undermines both TfL's and other licensing authorities' abilities to effectively regulate and enforce private hire activity in their areas, or to impose specific conditions that are a requirement for drivers licensed in those areas.

It cannot be right for private hire licensees to licence themselves with one authority, with the sole intention of working 100 per cent of the time in another. I believe that there is an urgent need to introduce a national solution to this issue, changing the law so that private hire bookings must start or end in the jurisdiction for which the vehicle and driver is licensed. This will allow a reasonable degree of flexibility for cross-border journeys while putting an end to out-of-town vehicles being permanently located within another licensing area.

My Deputy Mayor for Transport, Val Shawcross, and I continue to raise these issues with Government ministers and the Department for Transport, and we have contacted licensing authorities across England on this matter - many of whom share our concerns.