Uber Inc will go to court on Monday to overturn a decision striping it of its license in London, after it was ruled unfit to run a taxi service.
The regulator Transport for London (TfL) refused to renew the Silicon Valley firm’s license last September; citing failures in its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and to background checks on drivers.
Since losing its license, the company has made several changes to its business model.
This includes introducing 24/7 telephone support and proactively reporting to the city’s police serious incidents.
It 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,” said UK General Manager who will give evidence in court, Tom Elvidge in May.
The appeal will take place over three days at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and witnesses will include Uber’s UK Chairman Laurel Powers-Freeling, UK Head of Cities Fred Jones and TfL’s Interim Director of Licensing Helen Chapman.
After TfL rejected the firm’s application for a 5-year license, it is now seeking an 18-month license to prove its reformation to the authorities.
Judge Emma Arbuthnot may take weeks before making her decision, which is likely to be subject to further appeal by the losing side.
This means the whole legal process could take years.
One of its most important foreign markets is at stake for the company; of roughly 50,000 of its drivers in Britain, around 40,000 operate in London.
In the meantime, Uber can continue its operations in the city.
Since TfL’s decision in September, the firm has also been stripped of its license by the southern coastal city of Brighton, a decision it is appealing, and the northern city of York.
It has however gained new licenses in Sheffield, Cambridge, Nottingham and Leicester.
By: Clara Doku/techvoiceafrica.com