Uber To Appeal London Ban


Uber has officially appealed the decision by Transport for London (TfL) last month not to renew its licence in the city, meaning that it will continue to operate indefinitely.

The ride hailing giant said on Friday that it had filed the appeal at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

“While we have today filed our appeal so that Londoners can continue using our app, we hope to continue having constructive discussions with Transport for London,” the San Francisco-based company said in a statement.

“As our new CEO has said, we are determined to make things right.”

No indication was made the company of how long the appeal process is expected to take. A first hearing is likely to take place on 11th December though reportedly the process could take several months and “perhaps longer”.

A spokesperson for TfL said, “We note that Uber has submitted an appeal. No further comment will be made pending the appeal hearing.”

TfL say the decision, announced on 22nd September, to stop Uber from operating in its current form was largely based on concerns around user safety.

At the time, the transport authority said that it determined Uber not to be “fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence”. It said that it considered the company’s approach and conduct to “demonstrate a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications”.

3.5 million people are estimated to use Uber in London and around 40,000 people are licenced to drive for it in the city, making the capital a crucial market for the company. An online petition to save Uber in London has garnered more than 850,000 virtual signatures.

Immediately after TfL’s announcement last month, Uber’s global chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi admitted that the company, which was founded in 2009, had “got things wrong” and apologised in an open letter.

Khosrowshahi, the former head of Expedia who replaced Uber’s divisive founder Travis Kalanick over the summer, subsequently met Transport for London representatives to discuss the latter’s concerns and Uber has reportedly hired top QC Thomas de la Mare.

“Earlier this week, our new CEO had a constructive meeting with TfL and we hope to continue discussions in the coming weeks,” said the company in an email to its London customers.

“While these talks happen and our legal appeal is processed, we’ll still be operating in London. So you can still get a reliable ride, whenever you need it.”

Mr Khosrowshahi seems to be trying to address issues with the company in general. Recently, Uber has battling a slew of legal cases and challenges in several US states and has been forced to quit countries including Denmark and Hungary.

Former CEO Travis Kalanick stepped down earlier this year after a string of allegations were made against him.


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