Uber responded to the ruling, saying it was “satisfied” and “as always, safety is our top priority as we work together to keep London moving”.
Last November, London transport authorities said they would not renew Uber’s license to operate in the British capital after thousands of trips had been made with someone other than the booked driver. A major concern was that unauthorized drivers could upload their photographs to an authorized driver’s account, allowing them to pick up passengers. London authorities had estimated that at least 1
It was the second time in two years that London transport authorities had refused Uber’s license to operate there.
Uber appealed both decisions and was allowed to continue operating until a final decision was made.
The latest case was heard this month in Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
In his written verdict, Judge Tanweer Ikram wrote: “Despite their historical failures, I find them, now, a suitable and suitable person to hold a London PHV. [private hire vehicle] operator license. “
Uber, he said, “doesn’t have a perfect record, but it’s been an improving picture.” He said he was “satisfied that they are doing what one might expect from reasonable activity in their industry, perhaps even more”.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who leads Transport for London (TfL), warned Uber will continue to be scrutinized.
“I can assure Londoners that TfL will continue to closely monitor Uber and will not hesitate to act quickly if they fail to meet the stringent standards required to protect passengers,” he said.
The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, a commercial body for the London taxi industry, called Monday’s ruling “appalling”.
“Uber has proven time and time again that it simply cannot be trusted to put the safety of Londoners, its drivers and other road users above profit,” the group’s statement said. “Unfortunately, it looks like Uber is too big to effectively regulate, but too big to fail.”
London is one of Uber’s largest European markets. The company has around 45,000 drivers driving the city streets.
In a separate legal battle, Uber has filed an appeal against a labor court ruling that its drivers can be classified as workers and are entitled to workers’ rights, including minimum wages and leave. Uber claims its drivers are independent self-employed.
The UK Supreme Court heard the case in July and is expected to make a decision this year.