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Uber appeal: Today’s reactions from across the trade

Following on from yesterday’s disappointing news which saw Uber overturn Transport for London’s original decision to strip them of their operators licence we gather the thoughts of the industry. Uber were handed a probationary 15-month licence as opposed to the full five year term usually applied. Restrictions and conditions are also included. Steve Garelick, GMB Regional Organiser via Twitter “Ok so the proposition is a short-term licence with conditions however how does it help any worker or those who have had lives shredded by constant misleading behaviour. “How can a Judge grant time off for good behaviour when this is short term and guilt has been admitted?” Wes Streeting, Labour MP “The decision by the court to grant Uber a 15 month licence will be received as a kick in the teeth to the thousands of licensed taxi drivers and minicab operators who play by the rules. “Uber have finally accepted that TFL was right to revoke their licence, having flouted their licensing conditions, put passenger safety at risk and paid a substantial sum to criminal hackers to release the personal data of their customers and drivers before trying to cover it up. It is hard to imagine a black cab driver or small minicab operator being given this kind of second chance, but - as ever - it looks like one rule for the big corporation and another rule for the small business men and women of the taxi and private hire industry. “After years of inaction under the previous Mayor of London, I’m glad that TFL finally acted to enforce the rules against Uber with the support of Sadiq Khan. They must be relentless in holding Uber to account. Uber is now on notice to clean up their act. We will judge them by what they do, rather than what they say.” Sadiq Khan, London Mayor “After years of operating poorly in London, Uber has now accepted that TfL’s action in refusing to renew their licence was totally justified. Today our stance has been vindicated by the court. “Uber has been put on probation – their 15 month licence has a clear set of conditions that TfL will thoroughly monitor and enforce. “As a result of us standing up for Londoners, Uber has been forced to overhaul the way it operates not just in London but across the world, including completely changing its global governance structures and implementing new systems for reporting alleged crimes. “As Mayor, I’m working to ensure that London continues to be at the forefront of innovation and a natural home for new and exciting companies. But no matter how powerful and how big you are, you must play by the rules.” Glasgow Unite Cab Section via Twitter “The impartiality of the legal system in the UK took another blow today. Emma Arbuthnot gave Uber it’s London licence back this afternoon. She is married to Tory MP, James Arbuthnot. He was made a life peer by David Cameron in 2015. David Cameron warned Boris to back off Uber when PM.” LCDC via Twitter “It stinks..... there’ll be some Gin and Tonics slurped tonight in certain Gentleman’s clubs without a doubt... Chin Chin old boy” London Taxi PR via Twitter “I am absolutely gutted for every hard working law abiding London Taxi driver on today’s decision. Every day we do our job with excellence & more Importantly, legally ! “The British justice system has today given acceptance to all those that knowingly do wrong with no consequence” Steve McNamara, LTDA General Secretary “The appeal hearing lasted only two days out of the expected 3 or 4, and from the moment it opened I gained the impression the Chief Magistrate, Mrs Arbuthnot, had already decided that Uber were too big to fail. “At times the hearing felt almost rushed, she asked few questions and paid scant attention as a catalogue of Ubers mistakes and disregard for TfL and licensing rules in general were read out. Ubers general manager, Elvidge, was decimated by TfL’s QC during questioning on Ubers operational methods. He openly admitted a plethora of lies and rule breaking including the fact that the app had been operating in contravention of the 98 Act but by Monday afternoon it had become clear the Magistrate was merely going through the motions. In fact, she could have saved everyone a lot of time, effort and money had she admitted as much and given them the licence there and then!” 

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