Birmingham has demand more clarity from Uber on its business model before deciding whether to renew the ride hailing giant’s license to operate permanently.
Uber’s one-year licence to operate in the UK’s second largest city expired last month. It has been granted a temporary licence but a failure to get a permanent extension would deal a blow to the group as it already battles for a permit to keep operating in London – one of its most important markets.
“Officers in our licensing team have temporarily extended Uber’s private hire operator licence in Birmingham, whilst they seek clarity from Uber around its operating model,” the council’s acting director of regulation and enforcement, Chris Neville, said.
Uber has been subject to fierce scrutiny for its treatment of drivers and the safety of passengers in recent months, and especially since a shock decision in September by Transport for London not to automatically extend the company’s licence to operate in the capital.
Since then the group has made a series of changes in an attempt to pacify regulators. It’s introduced a 24/7 support helpline and has vowed to be more proactive when it comes to reporting serious incidents to police.
In February it also announced that it was launching a driver feedback programme across the UK, responding to calls for greater rights and protections for workers in the gig economy.
On Friday, in response to the comments from Birmingham Council, a London-based spokesperson for the California-based company said that its application for the city was still being processed.
The spokesperson added that Uber had been granted operating licenses by a number of UK cities in recent months, including Sheffield, Cambridge, Nottingham and Leicester.
Uber’s licence is reportedly due to expire in Edinburgh next week.