In my opinion it’s only a matter of time before Uber get banned from using their app as a meter. But as their whole system falls to bits without and going on what has already happened in other countries where they have been banned, it would be fair to assume they will just carry on operating regardless.
When this finally happens, TfL’s problems start big time.
Uber have shown in the past they have no regard for Taxi regulations anywhere in the world and believe that as their technology wasn’t invented when the Hackney Carriage and PH acts were written, then it doesn’t apply to them.
They already act illegally by offering the public instant hails. This is done with the full knowledge of TfL, who have chosen since they were first licensed under ex LTPH Director John Mason in 2012, to sit back, do nothing and just take the licensing revenue.
TfL in the last financial year, managed to clock up just 34 convictions for touting. Although extremely easy to spot, TfL have neither the man power or the appetite to deal with this issue. If on a rare occasion TfL were to take action, Uber would gladly pay all fines, enabling their drivers to carry on working the system.
TfL’s current directorate and enforcement are useless, clueless and woefully in adequate. Before we see any meaningful movement against Uber, we would need a completely new directorate, including the replacement of the Transport Commissioner himself.
We need proper on street Cab Enforcement by warranted officers. Current compliance teams and the secondment of a few “Golden” bus inspectors is just a joke.
If, or should I say when Uber are banned, that’s when TfL’s problems really become huge.
But you can always count on TfL to be inventive.
I personally predict they will do what they always do in this situation. Having no chance of policing and stopping, they will incorporate new legislation into the PH act, a power Peter Hendy already has (seen with the introduction of ID badges). The PH Act London 1998, is formulate in such a way -sections marked as prospective- meaning it can be added to or changed without legislation being sought.
TfL could well bring out a new licence to run concurrently with the present PH license, which will enable the holder to use an app for electronic hails. In there eyes, problem solved. This is another clear case of why we must make sure that  “Plying For Hire” is defined in law, as part of the Law Commission proposals, that will hit parliament after the forthcoming elections.
We have in the past been informed, the definition of a pre booking run up time is unclear in any of the acts, but former LCDC chairman Alan Fleming has pointed out on numerous occasion that there is a plethora of existing case law covering pre-bookings. Case law confirms that if PH are available for immediate hire, they are plying for hire. This has also been confirmed by Mr James Button (expert in licensing, training and legal advice).
But will banning Uber make any difference to their operation?
Take Victoria Australia for instance. They are banned from using a meter there, but Uber advise drivers to carry on working and have informed their drivers they will pay any fines incurred. In just a few short weeks, Uber has paid out £250,000 (in Aussie dollars) which they say is just petty cash to them. This is happening in nearly all the cities they are banned in.
Can you imagine TfL trying to stop Uber operating here if they get banned and continue to operate. It would be like the Keystone Cops, taking on the Mafia.
They advise their drivers to take Uber phone off the windscreen and place in cup holder. As most of their drivers haven’t got a clue where they’re going, they have to rely on the in-app sat nav directions. We will probably see an escalation of collisions as drivers continually take their eyes off the road to look down at their phones.
Drivers are also advised to remove all signage, which in London could include roundels. They are also told to ask passengers to sit up front. This advice has been given to Uber drivers in Victoria…please watch the ABC news clip below.

In the last financial year, TfL managed to clock up just 34 convictions for touting. Although extremely easy to spot, TfL have neither the man power or the political appetite to deal with this issue. If on a rare occasion TfL were to take action, Uber would gladly pay all fines, enabling their drivers to carry on working the system.
TfL’s current directorate and enforcement are useless, clueless and woefully in adequate. Before we see any meaningful movement against Uber, we would need a completely new directorate, including the replacement of the Transport Commissioner himself.
We need proper on street Cab Enforcement by warranted officers. Compliance teams and a couple of “Golden” bus inspectors are just a joke.
If, or should I say when Uber are banned, that’s when TfL’s problems really become huge.