Ride-hailing firm Uber today lost a Judicial Review against Transport for London in regards to the imposed voice contact requirement introduced by the regulator.
The High Court decided that TfL’s requirement for all private hire operators to have voice contact capability for customers was deemed lawful.
In 2016, after an extensive consultation, TfL brought in the requirement. The contact facility was to make it easier for passengers to complain and contact the operator in cases of emergency.
In the first instance Uber won the case to remove the voice contact requirement. However, today the High Court heard Transport for London’s appeal and overturned the original decision made by Mr Justice Mitting.
According to BrickCourt “The Court of Appeal held that Mr Justice Mitting was wrong to rely on the distinction between an emergency requirement and the voice contact facility, which was not raised in the consultation or suggested as a less burdensome alternative by ULL. It accepted TfL's evidence introduced on the appeal that an emergency requirement would not be practicable, would not achieve the same benefits, and would not necessarily be less burdensome. The Court of Appeal also held that, because the emergency requirement would not achieve the same benefits as the voice contact requirement (speed of response and customer comfort outside emergency situations), it was not a less burdensome alternative. It rejected ULL's arguments that the benefits outside of emergency situations were negligible.”
From 1st October all private hire all private hire firms must be contactable by phone.