Uber Wins Case to Continue Operating in London

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The Transport for London Authority, which has the statutory responsibility for granting of all Private Hire Vehicle licences, had initially refused the renewal of Uber London Limited’s license. In the case of Uber London Limited v. Transport for London, the court held that Uber will continue to hold the licence to operate in the city. 

Background 

Uber holds the licence in London under the tag of Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) licence. The London Taxi Drivers Association was also added as an interested party to the suit. The court was faced with a few main issues, whether Uber is fit to hold the PHV licence and if fit, should there be special conditions imposed on Uber London Limited. In addition to these two issues, the duration of the licence was also deliberated upon. 

Arguments 

The licence was denied from being renewed due to various counts of improper management by Uber London Limited. The driver Photo fraud issue was the top issue which the authorities have been battling. In addition to this, three Uber drivers were accused of committing sexual assault on passengers, but Uber delayed their deactivation and did not issue an explanation. Further, Uber is accused of regulatory breaches and ‘below the standard’ IT Services.

Uber has over 45000 drivers and singularly caters to over 3 million Londoners. The risks of such a big business model are huge but Uber has categorically tried to enhance the security checks and the manual balances. Uber agreed to the condition by the court that it will take further steps to better the entire process for its passengers and the state. 

Court’s Opinion 

The court before which the appeal was brought to stated its opinion on allowing Uber to continue its services. Judge Tanweer Ikram said that though Uber has had “historical failings”, the company has tried to undo its shortcomings and rectify its misdeeds. There has also been a provision set for Uber to monitor its operations and an oversight to be submitted by a Board of Directors. 

Court’s Decision 

The decision of the Westminster magistrate Court granted Uber an 18-month provisional licence to continue operating in London. The licence renewal was backed by several conditions that the court laid down for compliance. The company will have to satisfy all the conditions in order to continue its operations in the city of London.


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