Uber wins back Licence in London despite 'historical failings'
Bloomberg reports, Uber gained its appeal after losing its license to operate in London, A judge ruled that the Uber service is "fit and proper" and that it should be allowed to work in the capital, though the exact duration of the company's operating permit has yet to be announced
Bloomberg reports, Uber gained its appeal after losing its license to operate in London, A judge ruled that the Uber service is "fit and proper" and that it should be allowed to work in the capital, though the exact duration of the company's operating permit has yet to be announced. Uber was permitted to continue operating in London throughout the appeals process.
In his decision, the judge admitted that Uber had made "historic failings." Last year London's transport authority Transport for London (TfL) cited a "pattern of failures" as the reason for not granting Uber a new license to operate. In particular, Uber was criticized for allowing "unauthorized drivers to upload their photos to other Uber driver accounts," meaning unauthorized drivers could pose as legitimate drivers.
Twenty-four drivers were said to have used this loophole to share their accounts with 20 others, and the wrong driver is believed to have made a total of 14,788 trips, reports BBC News. All of these trips were uninsured, and TfL revoked the license of one of the drivers who were able to carry passengers using this method, the authority said last year.
In his ruling, Deputy Chief Magistrate Tan Ikram said he believed Uber has been working to improve its standards. "I am satisfied that they are doing what a reasonable business in their sector could be expected to do, perhaps even more," the judge ruled, as per Bloomberg.
The court is due to announce the duration of Uber's new permit later today. Uber won the right to continue operating in London in 2018 when it was granted a temporary 15-month license. Most recently, Uber was allowed to operate while it went through the appeals process.
The decision was criticized by the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, which represents some of London's black taxi drivers. In a statement on Twitter, he called the decision "a disaster for London" and said Uber had created the "false impression that it has changed for the better."
Uber has faced multiple legal challenges, especially around the employment status of its drivers. In California, Uber almost had to close in August due to an order that would have required it to classify its drivers as employees. On appeal, the order was later blocked. The UK's supreme court is due to decide on the same issue later this year.
In a statement, Uber called the decision "a recognition of Uber's commitment to safety" and added that it intends to "continue to work constructively with TfL." The company said that "there is nothing more important than the safety of the people who use the Uber app."