Sometimes the law can be seen as a total ass, and certainly, to just about everybody within the taxi industry, this is most definitely the case after the Uber appeal hearing.
Many expected Uber to overturn Transport for London's initial refusal to grant them a renewed operators licence, however, not many expected Tom Elvidge to openly admit that Uber had been helping their drivers to commit 2 million offences per week.
Lets cut to the chase, the licensed London taxi industry and those operating within the private hire industry in London, who have not profited from the Uber platform, should be entitled to compensation.
Legally, there may be grounds for a class action against Uber, given the fact that Uber have directly profited from their drivers operating illegally, facilitated by Uber themselves. Its possible that TfL could be culpable as well, given that they licensed Uber 6 years ago.
Wherever the legal path may lead to, certainly morally there are definitely grounds for every driver to receive a level of compensation.
Uber have procured a sum of between 20 and 25% on every single one of the 2 million journeys undertaken in London per week from their drivers. If we assume that Uber are now operating legally, the figure that they would have received from their drivers whilst operating outside of regulation over the last 6 years would be staggering.
Obviously Uber and their drivers haven't consistently performed 2 million journeys over the full 6 years of their operation in London, but there will be an audit trail showing exactly how much they have received in fees from their drivers over this time period, therefore could this be construed as illegal profit.
It is extremely difficult for any driver to quantify their losses over the last 6 years, any figure would be incremental according to Uber's expansion, other economic factors will also be involved, however it is abundantly clear that taxi and PHV drivers (who aren't on Uber) have been suffering financially.
If Uber are indeed a company reborn, then the logical solution would be to distribute every penny of every fee that they have received from their drivers over the last 6 years to every taxi and PHV driver in London as compensation for loss of earnings.
It would be assumed that all of the orgs and unions representing both the taxi industry and the PHV industry will be looking at the compensation issue as well as TfL’s role in issuing Uber with a licence in the first place.