Uber London License Appeal Could Take Years, Mayor Says

But the company can keep operating in London during the appeals process.

Press Association via AP Images

Uber lost its license to operate in London at the end of September, and getting it back could take a long time. The ride-hailing company is appealing a decision by Transport for London not to renew the license, but officials don't seem to be in any rush to expedite the process.

"My understanding is that it could go on for a number of years," London Mayor Sadiq Khan told Reuters and other media outlets during a monthly question and answer session. Uber currently has around 40,000 drivers and 3.5 million users in the British capital. Drivers are allowed to continue operating while the appeals process goes on.

"Uber continues to have constructive discussions with TfL in order to try to reach a resolution, even though we have filed our appeal," a company spokesperson told BBC News.

TfL elected not to renew Uber's operator license over concerns related to policies for background checks and reporting crimes committed by Uber drivers. The agency also cited Uber's alleged use of regulator-dodging "Greyball" software in the United States. While Uber and other ride-hailing companies currently operate with fewer regulations than traditional taxi companies, they are facing more scrutiny from governments around the world.

The license appeal process is ongoing, but Uber has already been dealt a critical blow by British regulators. It recently lost an appeal against a ruling that requires it to treat drivers like employees rather than independent contractors. The decision could force Uber to give its drivers more benefits, including a guaranteed minimum wage.