Uber has made changes to operations after London licence refusal, court told

Uber 'has accepted a large number of criticisms made by TfL'

Uber 'has accepted a large number of criticisms made by TfL'

Monday, April 30, 2018

Uber has sought to "repair and reform" its business in response to extensive criticisms made by Transport for London (TfL), as it faces being banished from the capital, a court has heard.

The taxi-hailing firm was told last year it would not have its licence renewed in London by TfL over public safety concerns and is due to begin an appeal against the decision on June 25.

During a case management hearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court, Philip Kolvin QC, representing Uber, said lessons had been learned from the decision.

He said: "TfL served a 21-page letter ... 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.

"The reaction of Uber to that letter has been one of repair and reform.

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

"It has made changes to the way it operates - it has changed its leadership, its directors."

The operational changes made by Uber reduce the list of issues to be discussed in the appeal from 25 to 11, he said.

TfL accepted changes had been made but felt "it is really for the court to decide whether, in light of the changes made, Uber is fit and proper", according to a statement from the transport body read by Mr Kolvin.

He continued: "Making these cultural changes has put a huge burden on Uber, but we also recognise that it has put a huge burden on TfL and I would like to publicly acknowledge that."

Uber has also altered its app, so a user is now told that the booking has been accepted by them before they are linked with a driver.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association (LTDA), which has been allowed to participate in the appeal, made an application to extend the list of issues.

The GMB union was also supposed to be involved in the proceedings but has since withdrawn following reassurances about health and safety from Uber.

Uber is used in London by 3.5 million passengers and 40,000 drivers.