Uber Wins Appeal Against London Ban

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Setback for TfL and also London mayor Sadiq Khan, after court upholds appeal by ride-hailing firm Uber against London ban

Uber has been deemed by a British court to be ‘fit and proper,’ and has been granted 18 month license to operate in London.

The decision is blow for Transport for London (TfL) and London mayor Sadiq Khan, after TfL alleged in November 2019 that it had discovered more than 14,000 rides by unauthorised drivers in late 2018 and early 2019.

TfL also alleged that Uber was not “fit and proper” to operate in the capital and that it would not be renewing the company’s licence.

Fit and proper

TfL also at the time alleged other serious breaches at Uber which included insurance-related issues, that again highlighted Uber’s “weak systems and processes”, TfL said.

TfL admitted last year that the ride-hailing firm had made “a number of positive changes” since the company was granted a licence by a magistrate in June 2018, after losing it due to safety concerns back in 2017.

London mayor Sadiq Khan last year had praised TfL’s decision to ban Uber.

But Uber at the time called the decision “extraordinary and wrong” and said it would appeal in order to allow to keep operating throughout the process.

And it seems that the court has sided with the ride-hailing firm, in what will be good news for the 45,000 Uber drivers in London.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court said Uber was now a “fit and proper” operator “despite historical failings”, the BBC reported.

One of the main concerns raised by TfL back in 2019 was a flaw in Uber’s system that allowed unauthorised people to upload their photographs to legitimate drivers’ accounts, which then allowed them to pick up passengers.

“It was not what we would do now. It was inadequate, we could have done better,” admitted Uber’s regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe, Jamie Heywood, to the BBC.

Watching closely

Meanwhile Mayor of London Sadiq Khan also weighed in on the court ruling, saying that TfL was “absolutely right” not to renew Uber licence last year.

However the major acknowledged the company had “made improvements”.

“I can assure Londoners that TfL will continue to closely monitor Uber and will not hesitate to take swift action should they fail to meet the strict standards required to protect passengers,” the major added.

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Author: Tom Jowitt
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