Uber launches appeal against London licence refusal

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Provisional date set for what could be the most headline-hitting case since Article 50

Uber has launched an appeal against Transport for London (TfL) and its decision not to renew the cab-hailing app’s licence. A spokesperson from the judiciary told Legal Cheek the papers were filed at Westminster Magistrates’ Court this morning.

A provisional hearing date has been set for 11 December, exactly one year and one week after the Supreme Court sat to hear the big legal case of 2016: the Gina Miller Article 50 challenge. Early signs show the Uber case may be equally exciting.

Expect it to involve some of the country’s best City lawyers. It was Mishcon de Reya representing Gina Miller last year, and now it’s Hogan Lovells acting for Uber. Holborn-based outfit Hogan Lovells did reconfirm to Legal Cheek this morning that it’s acting in the case, but had nothing more to add.

The case centres on events that took place at the end of September, when TfL stripped the app of its licence because of a “lack of corporate responsibility”. London Mayor Sadiq Khan, a former human rights lawyer, said at the time that “providing an innovative service is not an excuse for it being unsafe”, and has since revealed he’s never knowingly used Uber.

Though reaction to the news was mixed (see our Twitter poll below), the company has been allowed to operate while application to appeal was pending.

Now the appeal has been lodged, the app-based service will continue to be allowed to operate. Here is a statement sent to us by Uber:

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. As our new CEO has said, we are determined to make things right.

Uber says 3.5 million people in London have downloaded its app and have used it at least once in the past year. The service tends to be favoured by students, American research showing 37% of users are 16-24, compared to 28% aged 25-34, 17% aged 35-44, 12% aged 45-54 and 6% 55-64.

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That there has been procedural impropriety in reaching this decision is absolutely clear. Uber were apparently informed minutes before a public announcement, which reeks of an ambush – they had a legitimate expectation that the routine licence renewal process would involve consultation, and early warning of any issues TfL thought there might be.

I’d also argue the decision is unreasonable per se, especially as TfL actually handles the private hire licensing of the drivers, which was purportedly Uber’s biggest failing.



TFL deserve to lose this case because they’ve done everything possible to protect the Black Cab cartel and their monopolistic ways



Once again the a week or so ago the card machine in a black cab was not working. I paid £24 in old £1 coins that I had gathered in the knowledge I had to spend them soon.



… yet an Uber would probably have cost £12-14. Who is the real winner?







Better Melania than that anti-white hate preacher, Michael Obama.



The issue here is ALL other licensed taxi firms have a compulsory criminal record check (CRB / DBS check) – as part of a licensing requirement. This is essential, this is for public safety.

Uber have refused to enforce criminal record checks on their drivers because it adds up as a business cost which would they would then have to absorb themselves (making them less profitable) or pass on to the customer (which would make their service more expensive to the user, may lose customers, and therefore less profitable). – So they have blatantly flouted the basic rule on criminal record checks and vetting – endangering members of the public.

Secondly – they are obliged to report crimes arising from taxi their own taxi drivers during the course of their employment to TfL as part of licensing conditions. They do not. Approximately 30 sexual assaults went unreported to TfL. There may be more yet to come out of the woodwork. This is not acceptable.

The real scandal relates to 2 things – that TfL effectively turned a blind a eye and allowed them to operate with no criminal record checks or vetting, and that uber are willing to compromise customer safety in such a disgusting way.



Get outta here Sadiq Khan. You guys run the private hire licensing, not uber! Perform your own background checks.



every analogous employer in ANY industry – nhs hospitals, schools, banks etc – do their own vetting and background checks, not the regulator ……

what was the point of having campaigns to warn clubbers / party go-ers of the dangers of cheap unlicensed, un- vetted and illegal taxi cabs when TfL have permitted uber to operate illegally??!!! TfL have a case to answer to the 30something victims of sexual assault as a systemic failing in applying vetting procedures uniformly…. and also other smaller licensed taxi firms who follow the rules….

uber have been taken full advantage of the lax attitude of TfL…



Yeah, because getting into an Uber where the driver’s name, picture, license number and car model have been forwarded to you beforehand, and where the entire journey will be electronically recorded, is far more dangerous than getting into an anonymous random black cab that happens to be driving down the street.

Get real.



More than 30 sexual assaults by unvetted uber drivers in a year is a fact that speaks for itself.

Get real.



You’re an idiot



38% of people think it was the right decision?

tell me another…


Corbyn. Symphathiser

I occasionally use Uber and I think it was the right decision.



Fake poster and an impersonator. You occasionally impersonate an Uber rider too I bet!



The biggest scandal pertaining to this article is that someone thinks it takes 4 minutes to get from Hogan Lovells to Westminster Mags!


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