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Uber to receive ruling on London operating license

Kate Ng
·2-min read
Smatphone app used to order an Uber cab (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)
Smatphone app used to order an Uber cab (Oli Scarff/Getty Images)

Uber will hear from a judge on Monday if it can continue to operate in London after its license was removed over safety concerns.

The decision marks the latest stage in the ride-hailing company’s long-running battle with Transport for London (TfL).

It follows a four-day hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court earlier this month.

Deputy chief magistrate Tan Ikram is set to hand down his decision at 10am.

TfL refused to renew Uber’s license due to what it called a “pattern of failures”, including thousands of trips conducted where passengers found that the driver picking them up was not the driver advertised when they booked the journey via the app.

Uber was also previously denied a license by TfL in 2017, before a judge restored it on a probationary basis. It appealed the decision, saying it has improved insurance document verification systems and rolled out real-time identification.

The company, which employs around 45,000 drivers in London, is still allowed to operate until the appeals process is exhausted, which could continue for a prolonged period of time depending on any further legal action following Monday’s verdict.

TfL did not take a formal position during this month’s hearings, but submitted evidence, questioned witnesses and asked the judge to bear in mind a number of factors, including whether Uber could be trusted going forward.

The trade union representing traditional black cab drivers, the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, urged the judge to block a new license, and has said in a legal submission that Uber is “not fit and proper”.

Uber has run into a number of regulatory barriers in other countries, including the US, Australia, Germany, India, the Netherlands and Austria, and has been forced to withdraw from some markets.

The company apologised for its “mistakes” in 2017 after TfL decided against renewing its license to operate in London, and vowed to do “more to contribute to the city” and “make things right”.

Additional reporting by agencies

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