Uber’s legal battle to save its operating licence in London has been rearranged to begin in September.
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 are now set to appeal that decision in a bid to remain working in what is their biggest UK market.
The courts were set to hear Uber’s appeal this month before being adjourned to a later date due to the impacts of COVID-19. The hearing is now likely to run between the 14-17 September.
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.”
Jamie Heywood, Uber’s General Manager for the UK, Northern and Eastern Europe said via City A.M’s podcast today that he remains “optimistic” that the ride-hailing giants will be granted a new operator's licence come September.
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