Uber files appeal against London license loss
Uber has today filed notification of its intention to appeal the London transport regulator’s decision to withdraw its license to operate in the market.
“While we have today filed our appeal so that Londoners can continue using our app, we hope to continue having constructive discussions with Transport for London,” an Uber spokesman told us. “As our new CEO has said, we are determined to make things right.”
Despite being judged unfit to operate and having licensing withdrawn by the local regulator, Uber can continue to operate in London during the appeals process.
Its spokesman added that details of Uber’s arguments against the decision will not be released until nearer the time of the appeal being heard.
Reuters is reporting that a hearing is likely to take place on December 11, citing a spokesman at Britain’s Judicial Office.
A spokesperson for Westminster Magistrates’ Court did not confirm this date but told us: “The court are aware of Uber’s appeal against TFL. The parties will be made aware of the [appeals hearing] date formally.”
Late last month Transport for London sent shock waves through Uber after announcing it would not be renewing the company’s private hire vehicle license to operate in its most important European market — where it claims to have some 3.5 million and around 40,000 drivers.
TfL said Uber had demonstrated “a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications”.
After the decision was announced new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi wrote an apology in a London newspaper, saying sorry for Uber’s “mistakes”. He also made a personal visit to the city for talks with the regulator. And tweeted to urge London to work with the company “to make things right”.
However yesterday, at a question time session, London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, confirmed TfL is standing by its decision and will be defending it in court, saying: “The courts now will consider the appeal from Uber and of course TfL will defend the decision they made.”
TfL listed four issues in its Uber license decision — namely: Its approach to reporting serious criminal offenses; its approach to how driver medical certificates are obtained; its approach to carrying out background checks to ensure drivers do not have a criminal record; and how it has explained its use of internal software (codenamed Greyball) in London — software apparently designed to try to block regulatory oversight.
London’s Met Police had written to the regulator when it was still considering Uber’s license renewal accusing the company of systematically failing to report the most serious allegations of criminal behavior pertaining to its platform.
Uber has since said it’s working with London’s Met Police on a new system for reporting serious crimes.
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