Uber calls on TfL to ease licensing backlog to ease Christmas driver shortage

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Uber is calling on thousands more licensed London drivers to sign up to the app ahead of a busy Christmas party season.

The ride-hailing giant has seen a drop in numbers of 5% since 2019 in the capital, compared to a rise of 40% across the rest of the UK. Uber is calling on Transport for London to ease the post-pandemic licensing backlog, which it says is to blame for the drop in numbers. It currently takes 10 months to get a TfL private hire driver’s licence, at a cost of up to £700.

This party season is expected to be one of the biggest in years, with many businesses hosting festive parties for the first time since the beginning of the pandemic. According to Uber’s data, Friday, December 2 is expected to be the busiest day for parties in London, with a sharp increase in requests for rides anticipated, leading to a shortage of drivers available.

Andrew Brem, Uber General Manager, UK said: “December is always a busy time of year as people celebrate the holidays with their colleagues and friends. We are talking to TfL about how best to support drivers to gain PHV licences and iron out complexities within the system. We encourage any drivers who might want some extra earnings this Christmas to sign up with Uber.”