Uber responded to the ruling, saying it was “pleased” and “as always, safety is our priority as we work together to keep London moving.”
Last November, London transport authorities said they would not renew Uber’s license to operate in the UK capital after making thousands of trips with someone other than the booked driver. One of the biggest concerns was that unauthorized drivers could upload their photos to an account of an authorized driver in order to collect passengers. The London authorities had estimated that at least 1
It was the second time in two years that London’s transport authorities had rejected Uber’s operating license.
Uber appealed both decisions and was allowed to continue working until a final decision was made.
The last case was heard in Westminster Magistrates’ Court this month.
In his written judgment, Judge Tanweer Ikram wrote: “Despite your historical shortcomings, I feel that you are now an appropriate person to hold a London PHV [private hire vehicle] Operator license. “
Uber, he said, “doesn’t have a perfect record, but it was an improving picture.” He said he was “satisfied that they are doing what can be expected of a reasonable business in their sector, maybe even more.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who heads Transport for London (TfL), warned that Uber would continue to be screened.
“I can assure Londoners that TfL will continue to monitor Uber closely and will not hesitate to take swift action if they fail to meet strict standards to protect passengers,” he said.
The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, a trade organization for the London taxi industry, described Monday’s verdict as “appalling”.
“Uber has shown time and time again that putting the safety of Londoners, their drivers and other road users above profit is simply not trustworthy,” the group said in a statement. “Unfortunately, Uber seems too big to regulate effectively but too big to fail.”
London is one of Uber’s largest European markets. The company has around 45,000 drivers who drive through the city streets.
In a separate lawsuit, Uber is appealing a Labor Court ruling that its drivers qualify as employees and are entitled to employee rights, including minimum wages and vacation pay. Uber says its drivers are self-employed independent contractors.
The UK Supreme Court heard the case in July and will make a decision this year.