Taxi app Uber fights to win back London licence in latest court battle

The Uber Technologies Inc. application is displayed in the App Store on an Apple Inc. iPhone in an arranged photograph taken in Arlington, Virginia, U.S. on Monday, April 29, 2019. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Taxi app Uber will battle in court on Tuesday to win back its licence to operate in London after the city’s transport regulator removed it over safety concerns.

Transport for London (TfL) refused in 2019 to grant the Silicon Valley-based company a new licence due to what it called a “pattern of failures” on safety and security, including on driver identification.

Uber, which was also denied a licence by TfL in 2017 before a judge restored it on a probationary basis, has made changes to its business model so it can keep operating in one of its most important markets.

“We have worked hard to address TfL’s concerns over the last few months, rolled out real time ID checks for drivers, and are committed to keeping people moving safely around the city,” said its Northern and Eastern Europe boss Jamie Heywood.

TfL said in November 2019 that unauthorised drivers were able to upload their photos to other Uber accounts, resulting in at least 14,000 trips where drivers other than those advertised picked up passengers.

Deputy Senior District Judge Tan Ikram will preside over the hearings at Westminster Magistrates’ Court from Tuesday until Thursday.

Uber‘s 45,000 drivers in London are still able to operate until the appeals process is exhausted, which could go on for several more months or years depending on when a decision is made and any further legal action.

The Silicon Valley company has run into regulatory barriers and a backlash in other countries, forcing it to withdraw from some markets.

In London, traditional black cab drivers who see Uber as a threat to their livelihoods have blocked streets in protest. Their trade body, the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, is also part of the court case.

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.