Uber lost its license to operate in London back in November last year following Transport for London (TfL)’s decision to revoke its license based on security concerns. Soon after the incident, Indian ride-hailing company Ola started its operations in the city and managed to attract over 10,000 drivers. In response to Uber’s appeal last December, a judge in the Westminster Magistrates Court has today restored the company’s license to operate in London for 18 months.
“Despite their historical failings, I find them, now, to be a fit and proper person to hold a London PHV operator’s licence…I am satisfied that they are doing what a reasonable business in their sector could be expected to do, perhaps even more,” said deputy chief magistrate Tanweer Ikram in his ruling.
For the uninitiated, the Transport for London (TfL) suspended Uber’s license in 2019 because Uber’s systems allowed unauthorized drivers to upload their photos to accounts of other Uber drivers. In other words, the loophole let drivers exploit legit Uber accounts, and 24 drivers made a total of 14,788 trips between August 2018 and January 2019 through this method.
Soon after the court order, Uber London has published a blog post detailing a number of safety and security features the company has added over the years including Real-Time ID Check and Safety Toolkit. According to Uber, over 45,000 private drivers regularly use the Uber app.
“This decision is a recognition of Uber’s commitment to safety and we will continue to work constructively with TfL. There is nothing more important than the safety of the people who use the Uber app as we work together to keep London moving,” said Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for Northern and Eastern Europe.