Uber Has Officially Launched an Appeal Against its London Licence Loss

By Tom Pritchard on at

Uber was denied an licence renewal last month, meaning it's unable to operate in London. We all know that because we've heard it a billion times already. We also know that an appeal may help reverse the decision, and should, at the very least, be allowed to operate until the conclusion of the appeals process. Well now Uber is finally getting round to filing that appeal.

The Guardian is reporting that the minicab firm that claims it's not a minicab firm will be lodging papers with Westminster magistrate's court at some point this morning. This news comes shortly after it was reported that there would be no quick fixes to the licencing situation, even after the new CEO personally visited London to try and negotiate.

Uber had previously made an apology over the way it operated under the old regime, while Travis Kalanick was CEO. The new CEO Dara Khosrowshahi noted that this needed to change to salvage Uber's reputation, a move that some saw as a positive step to reclaiming the London licence.

But that's clearly not the case, and if Uber wants to come back to London it needs to win in court - or failing that make some sweeping changes to how its service actually operates. And by that I mean more than just apologising and rolling out some minor driver benefits as a distraction. TfL had cited safety concerns as one of the reasons why it chose not to renew Uber's licence, including driver background checks and the way the company reported criminal offences. Also mentioned was Uber's use of software to avoid regulators, an the fact that its drivers are not considered employees - and thus do not come with basic benefits like minimum wage, paid sick leave, or holiday pay.

The appeals process is not going to end this story quickly, either. It's estimated that it could be a year before it concludes, and we all find out what Uber's London status will be in the years to come. Obviously there are going to be a lot of developments, and we'll keep you updated as and when they happen.


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