February 23, 2024

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Uber granted new London license following lengthy legal battle

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Uber has regained the license it lost back in 2017.


Chris J. Ratcliffe/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Uber scored a victory in the UK on Monday when a judge granted it a new license to operate in London, deeming it “fit and proper.” The company has been engaged in a three-year legal battle in the British capital after losing its license in 2017 due to safety concerns.

In a ruling issued at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, the judge agreed that Uber could be issued a license to operate in London for the next 18 months, after which time it will be reviewed.

“ULL [Uber London Limited] does not have a perfect record but it has been an improving picture,” said the judge, Tan Ikram. “The test as to whether ULL are a ‘fit and proper person’ does not require perfection. I am satisfied that they are doing what a reasonable business in their sector could be expected to do, perhaps even more.”

The Silicon Valley-based ride-hailing company was already a well-established player on London’s private hire scene back in September 2017, but when its license came up for renewal its request was denied over safety and security issues, as well as “a lack of corporate responsibility.” The company appealed the decision, and has managed to keep operating in the city for the past three years while the legal battle played out, even introducing Jump Bikes and taking over the running of London’s Thames Clipper commuter boat service.

Uber’s new license has 21 conditions that were jointly suggested by London’s transport regulator TfL and Uber.

“This decision is a recognition of Uber’s commitment to safety and we will continue to work constructively with TfL,” said Uber’s Regional General Manager for Northern & Eastern Europe Jamie Heywood. “There is nothing more important than the safety of the people who use the Uber app as we work together to keep London moving.”

This story is developing, please check back for updates…

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