Ride-hailing leader Uber Technologies have told a London court it had addressed concerns over safety as it struggles to win back its operating licence in a few of its main markets, the latest period of a long-running battle with the local regulator.
Transport for London (TfL) refused to grant the Silicon Valley-based firm a new license in 2019 because of what it called a “pattern of failures” on safety and security.
Uber, which was likewise denied a licence by TfL in 2017 before a judge revived it on a probationary basis, says it has assuaged worries by improving insurance record verification systems and rolling out real-time identification.
“The energy and responsiveness which (Uber)…has demonstrated in seeking to meet TfL’s concerns reflect a deep-rooted commitment to safety and provide further and strong evidence of fitness and propriety”, it said in a record submitted to court. TfL stated in November 2019 that unauthorised drivers were able to upload their photos to additional Uber accounts, leading to at least 14,000 excursions where drivers apart from those promoted picked up passengers.
Deputy Senior District Judge Tan Ikram is presiding over the hearings in Westminster Magistrates’ Court from Tuesday until Thursday.
Uber’s 45,000 drivers in London are still able to operate until the appeals process is exhausted, which could go on for several more months or years depending on when a decision is made and any further legal action.
The Silicon Valley company has run into regulatory barriers and a backlash in other countries, forcing it to withdraw from some markets.
In London, traditional black cab drivers who (maybe correctly) view Uber Technologies as a threat to their livelihoods have blocked streets in protest. Their trade body, the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, can also be a portion of the court case.
The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Costas Pitas. Editing by Estelle Shirbon and Michael Holden.
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