Uber gets back London license after winning court challenge

Uber can keep operating in London after the ride-hailing company won a court appeal on Monday against the refusal by transit regulators to renew its license

LONDON — Uber can keep operating in London after the ride-hailing company won a court appeal on Monday against the refusal by transit regulators to renew its license.

The U.S. company had challenged Transport for London’s decision in late 2019 not to renew its private hire vehicle (PHV) operating license over safety concerns involving imposter drivers.

“Despite their historical faillings, I find them, now, to be a fit and proper person to hold a London PHV operator’s license,” Deputy Chief Magistrate Tanweer Ikram wrote in his decision.

Uber was allowed to continue operating while the appeal was underway. The decision came after a four-day hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court earlier this month.

The magistrate said he took into account Uber’s efforts to improve oversight and didn’t find any evidence of a “cover up” of the driver photo fraud problem.

TFL had already revoked Uber’s license once before, in 2017, but a court later granted it a license lasting 15 months, which TFL then extended for two more months in late 2019, but with 20 added conditions.

The legal victory in a lucrative European market will help Uber as it struggles to turn a profit. The company posted a $1.8 billion loss in the latest quarter, raising doubts that it can meet its goal of becoming profitable by 2021.

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This version corrects in sixth paragraph that TFL’s rejection came in 2019, not two years ago. Fixes spelling of magistrate’s name to Tanweer, not Tanweek.