Uber to begin court proceeding in London for operator licence

Uber will begin a court proceeding in London on Monday that will determine whether the firm is “fit and proper” to have an operator licence in the UK capital.

The hearing will be held at Westminster Magistrates’ Court. It is expected to last for several days.

Transport for London (TfL) refused to renew Uber’s licence last September over public safety and security concerns.

TfL determined that Uber failed to have an adequate approach to reporting serious criminal offences and doing background checks of its drivers.

Uber says that it has made several changes to its business, including 24/7 telephone support and improvements to the procedure for reporting serious incidents to police. The Uber app now shows users that their booking has been accepted and that their driver is licensed by TfL.

In addition, the company has made changes to its leadership. Uber appointed three independent executive directors have been appointed to its UK board.

In May, UK General Manager Tom Elvidge said: “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,”

Justin Bowden, national secretary at GMB, the union for taxi drivers, was quoted by the BBC as saying: “Uber lost its licence in London because it refused to play by London’s rules, particularly on the crucial issue of passenger safety, and it won’t get it back until it accepts that an ‘Uber’s way, or no way’ attitude to safety and its drivers will not prevail.”

He added: ‘Uber’s licence will not be returned by legal action but by genuine contrition and real change which can only come about from engagement with Transport for London as the licensing authority and drivers’ representatives like GMB.’

According to Uber, 3.6 million passengers “regularly use the app” in London.