Uber has won a short-term licence to operate in London | Tech News
Uber can continue to operate in London – for now. The ridesharing app won a partial victory when a judge granted the company a short-term operating licence in London. Uber’s permit had been withdrawn in September 2017 over safety concerns.
The company conceded that Transport for London (TfL) was correct in its earlier decision to revoke the license to operate in the city, but told an appeal hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court that reforms within the firm mean its licence should be restored.
On Tuesday, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot granted a 15-month licence, but criticised the firm for its past behaviour as aiming to “grow the business, come what may.” The judge also said the firm painted a “false picture” of its processes during previous court battles and “tried to whip up public outcry” after TfL’s decision by launching a “public attack” rather than immediately accepting blame. She also ordered the Silicon Valley giant to pay TfL’s £425,000 legal costs.
TfL had told the firm of a string of concerns, which included it failing to report criminal allegations against its drivers to the police, using vision tests over Skype open to cheating, and voicing concerns over the use of technology to thwart regulators outside the UK.
The firm had its application for a standard five-year licence rejected in September, but reduced its request to 15 months during the appeal hearings. Uber agreed to some extra conditions: it will create new rules to share incident reports with the police, keep drivers from operating in areas where they are not licensed, and share the traffic data that it collects with city authorities.
“Uber has been put on probation – their 15-month licence has a clear set of conditions that TfL will thoroughly monitor and enforce,” said London mayor Sadiq Khan. “As a result of us standing up for Londoners, Uber has been forced to overhaul the way it operates not just in London but across the world, including completely changing its global governance structures and implementing new systems for reporting alleged crimes.”
Read more: Uber hasn’t taken taxi drivers’ jobs but has slashed their wages
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