For Uber London is a key market since of the roughly 50,000 drivers in Britain, 40,000 operate there.
On Monday, Uber is set to go to court as it ramps up its efforts to overturn a decision to strip it of its license in London following a court decision that ruled it was unfit to run a taxi service in London, a core city in its European market strategy.
Following the ruling, in September 2017, the Regulator Transport for London (TfL) refused to renew its license, citing a number of failings in its approach to reporting serious criminal offenses as well as concerns related to the background checking of its drivers.
Although Uber is used to facing government restrictions, protests and bans as it revolutionizes the concept of taxi services and ventures further into more modern means of transportation, the firm is making heightened efforts not to lose its license in London and has already made several changes in its business model, including the introduction of 24/7 telephone support as well as proactive reporting of serious incidents to the city’s police.
Uber has also shuffled its senior management and has apologized for its 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,” said Tom Elvidge, Uber’s UK General Manager in May 2018. Elvidge will now provide evidence in court.
Uber’s appeal is scheduled to be heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court over the next three days and its witness list includes Fred Jones, Uber UK’s Head of Cities, Uber’s UK Chairman Laurel Powers-Freeling and Helen Chapman, TfL’s Interim Director of Licensing.
Following the rejection of its application for a 5-year license in 2017 by TfL, Uber now wants to showcase and prove to the authorities at TfL that it has indeed reformed; it is seeking an 18-month license to do so.
While Judge Emma Arbuthnot could potentially take weeks before arriving at her judgment, either way this is again likely to be further appealed by the losing side; thus, the entire legal process is likely to take a couple of years before it unwinds.
In the meantime however, Uber can continue to operate in London.
For Uber, London is a significant market since of the roughly 50,000 drivers in Britain, 40,000 are in London.
Furthermore, following TfL September 2017 decision, the coastal city of Brighton and the northern city of York has also taken a similar stance. Uber is appealing all 3 decisions. Uber has however gained new licenses in Nottingham, Sheffield, Leicester and Cambridge.