News World Uber battles to keep London licence in court appeal

Uber battles to keep London licence in court appeal

Uber goes to court on Monday to overturn a decision stripping it of its licence in London after being ruled unfit to run a taxi service in its most important European market.

Regulator Transport for London (TfL) shocked the Silicon Valley firm last September by refusing to renew its licence, citing failings in its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and to background checks on drivers.

Uber, whose backers include Goldman Sachs and BlackRock and which is valued at over $70 billion, has faced protests, bans and restrictions around the world as it challenges traditional operators and angers some unions.

In London, the firm has since made several changes to its business model since losing its licence, including the introduction of 24/7 telephone support and the proactive reporting of serious incidents to the city’s police.

It has also changed its senior management and apologised for mistakes.

“I know we got things wrong and that we have more work to do. I promise Londoners we will keep listening and improving as Uber moves forward in a new direction,” UK General Manager Tom Elvidge, who will give evidence in court, said in May.

The appeal is due to be heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court over three days and witnesses will also include Uber’s UK Chairman Laurel Powers-Freeling, UK Head of Cities Fred Jones and TfL’s Interim Director of Licensing Helen Chapman.

After its application for a five-year licence was rejected last year by TfL, the company is now seeking an 18-month one to prove to the authorities that it has reformed.

Judge Emma Arbuthnot may take weeks before making her decision, which is likely to be subject to further appeal by the losing side, meaning the whole legal process could take years.

In the meantime, Uber can continue to operate in the city.

At stake for the U.S. firm is one of its most crucial foreign markets. Of its roughly 50,000 drivers in Britain, around 40,000 are in London.

Since September’s TfL decision, the firm has also been stripped of its licence by the southern coastal city of Brighton, in a decision which it is appealing, and the northern city of York.

It has however gained new licences in Sheffield, Cambridge, Nottingham and Leicester.

Top Stories

As COVID surges, UK to unveil new job protection plans

Britain's Finance Minister Rishi Sunak (pictured) departed for Parliament on Thursday, where he is expected to announce more job protection plans, likely to include...

Health expert expresses concern over increase of COVID-19 cases

Assistant Professor of Internal Medicine, Infection Prevention and Control at the European University and specialist with training in infection control Constantinos Tsioutis, has expressed...

Greek PM to address nation at 18:00 on Thursday

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will deliver a televised address to the nation at 18:00 on Thursday, government spokesperson Stelios Petsas said during Thursday's press...

Auditor General’s report points to irregularities in Cyprus investment Programme

The Auditor-General’s Office on Thursday released its much-publicised report on the granting of citizenship as part of  the  controversial Cyprus Investment Programme and –...

Two additional football matches postponed due to covid outbreak

In view of the fact that a large number of COVID-19 cases have been identified in the Nea Salamina and Ethnikos Achnas Football Clubs,...

Taste

Sheftalies

Sheftalies, a very tasty dish from the charcoal grill, are minced meat shaped into small sausages and wrapped in “panna” (suet). Panna is a...

Spicy grilled soutzoukakia

Place all ingredients for soutzoukakia in a bowl and mix well, preferably using a food processor, until well combined. Using the mixture, form cigar-shaped...

Souvlakia

Pork souvlaki: Put the meat and all the other ingredients in a bowl (not metal) and mix well. Cover the bowl and keep in...

Pastelli (Carob Toffee)

The nutritional sweet of Pastelli is made with the syrup of carob pods, produced by boiling their pulp until it forms a thick, sticky...