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Uber’s court battle to save London operator licence adjourned to September

Uber’s legal battle to save its operating licence in London is likely to be pushed back to September rather than this summer as planned.

Last year Transport for London (TfL) failed to grant Uber London Limited (Uber) a new private hire operator’s licence following concerns surrounding passenger safety.

Uber were set set to appeal that decision in a hearing due to start on 6 July in a bid to remain working in what is their biggest UK market. That appeal has now been adjourned until September when it is hoped courts become fully operational once again.

Letters sent by TfL to Uber revealed why the capital‘s regulator refused Uber a licence to operate back in November 2019. As the regulator of taxi and private hire services in London, TfL is required to make a decision on Uber’s fitness and propriety before its current licence expires.

The letters outlined a series of failures from Uber to protect passengers and other road users, including:

  • A global phishing scam, involving manipulation of GPS signals to create fictitious journeys for which passengers are charged;

  • The use of fake insurance certificates, and Uber’s failure to check start and end dates for insurance;

  • Drivers with fraudulent private hire licences using the app to transport passengers;

  • Unlicensed Vehicles used to transport passengers;

  • Drivers fraudulently replacing account profile pictures with photos of a different individual, to allow others to pick up passengers using their log-in details;

  • Drivers using online videos which demonstrated how to fake their locations at airports, to allow drivers to jump queues or find out destinations before beginning trips.

The letter also confirmed that Uber received 27,799 safety-related complaints between 1 December 2018 and 31 May 2019.

An Uber spokesperson released a statement soon after learning of its licence refusal saying: “We have fundamentally changed our business over the last 2 years, setting the standard for safety in the industry. TfL’s decision on our London licence is wrong and we will appeal. Uber will continue to operate as normal.”


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