New Uber boss to hold crunch talks with TfL in licence dispute

Updated: 
Uber's Clean Air Plan

The new boss of Uber will hold crunch talks with London's transport commissioner on Tuesday after the firm's licence was not renewed.

Dara Khosrowshahi, chief executive of the ride-hailing app, is meeting Mike Brown of Transport for London (TfL) as Uber seeks to continue operating in the capital.

It comes just a day after Uber's UK head quit her post.

Jo Bertram announced on Monday she will be resigning after four years with the company.

TfL refused to renew the firm's licence last month on the grounds of "public safety and security implications".

Uber has said it will launch an appeal against the decision. It can continue to operate during that process.

An Uber spokesman said Mr Khosrowshahi is "looking forward to meeting with the commissioner", adding: "We want to work with London to make things right."

The talks are being held following an approach from Uber and at mayor Sadiq Khan's request.

The app enables users to book cars using their smartphones and is available in more than 40 towns and cities across the UK.

Some 3.5 million passengers use the service in London, according to Uber.

The issues raised by TfL include Uber's approach to reporting serious criminal offences, how drivers' medical certificates are obtained, how criminal record checks are carried out and its use of technology which allegedly helps it to evade law enforcement officials.

Ms Bertram, head of northern Europe affairs, said an "exciting new opportunity has arisen that will allow me to apply what I've learnt here and I'll be able to share more details with you soon".

A spokesman for the company denied the move was driven by Uber's current licensing issues but Ms Bertram said: "Given some of our current challenges, I'm also convinced that now is the right time to have a change of face and to hand over to someone who will be here for the long haul and take us into the next phase."

Mr Khosrowshahi took over at Uber in August after predecessor Travis Kalanick resigned following a series of scandals.

The new boss has apologised for "the mistakes we've made" and accepted the company had "got things wrong".

Uber will challenge the licence decision "with the knowledge that we must also change", he said.

More than 840,000 people have signed an online petition launched by Uber, urging TfL to reverse its ruling.

The boss of a rival minicab app claimed on Monday the number of Uber drivers in London should be capped to ensure "healthy competition and consumer choice".

Kabbee chief executive Justin Peters called for a limit on the proportion of minicab drivers overseen by one company if Uber does have its licence renewed.

Some 116,000 minicab drivers hold licences in London and Uber says around 40,000 of them use its app in the city.