App-based mini cab firm Uber has been granted a four month extension of its private hire vehicle operators licence, pending a final decision by Transport for London on a five year renewal of its permit to operate in London.
Uber’s presence in the capital has angered the traditional black cab trade which has found itself competing for custom with an often cheaper service and has held a series of demonstrations against the firm’s business model.
Last month the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA), which represents around half of London’s cabbies, called on TfL not to renew Uber’s existing licence when it expires at the end of this month.
The body said its call was based on the belief that Uber encroaches on the ‘plying for hire’ model which is legally reserved for black cabs, and that it fails to pass the “fit and proper” standards required.
Uber has always insisted it operates within the law and says it provides a “safe and affordable ride” to “millions of Londoners” who enjoy using its app.
Speaking about the decision to grant a temporary licence renewal, 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.”
The decision not to grant a full five year licence at this point means Uber is likely to be hit by TfL’s planned hike in fees operators when its full licence is finally renewed, potentially seeing the cost of its licence rise from just over £2,000 to around £2m.