Uber to appeal having its London license suspended

Uber to appeal having its London license suspended

Monday, June 25, 2018

Uber will begin its appeal today (June 25) to continue operating in London after having its license suspended last year.

Among the documents set to be presented in court are documents that show Uber secretly investigated over 2,500 of its London drivers for crimes including sexual assault.

Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in the UK, wrote a “strictly confidential” letter to Helen Chapman, TfL’s general manager of taxi and private hire.

It revealed that 1,148 drivers had been accused of serious offences such as sex attacks, dangerous driving and stalking, and a further 1,402 had been investigated by Uber for multiple complaints of “inappropriate personal conduct”.

Safety concerns

Uber’s current deal expired on September 30 last year, with Transport for London (TfL) saying the app was "not fit and proper" to operate in the capital.

TfL said it had concerns which have "public safety and security implications", including its approach to reporting serious criminal offences, how it carried out background checks on its drivers, and how its technology allegedly helped drivers avoid law enforcement officials.

Uber criticised the decision saying not issuing a licence "would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies" and appealed the decision.

More than 850,000 people signed an online petition appealing for TfL to reconsider the move, and Uber said it accepted it had made mistakes in the past.

Uber 'admits it failed'

The hearing, at Westminster Magistrates Court, is set to last for several days, and the court will decide whether Uber is fit for a license.

After being served with a 21-page document from TfL last year, Uber says it has made changes, including appointing three non-executive directors to its UK boards, reporting incidents to the police rather than leaving it up to drivers or passengers, and altering the app so passengers are told the driver is licensed by TfL.

Philip Kolvin QC, who has previously represented Uber, said: “It was a most thorough document and the issues included not just what Uber did but how it did it, and underpinning those issues was a critique of Uber's approach.

"It has accepted a large number of those criticisms made by TfL, it admits it has failed in many respects. It has apologised.”

The City of York Council refused to grant a licence for the app last December, citing complaints it had received about the service and a recent well-publicised data protection breach, while its licence was temporarily suspended in Sheffield in the same month.