Uber will be granted a new licence to operate in London after a judge ruled the firm was “fit and proper” to work in the capital.
The ride-hailing company was denied a licence by Transport for London (TfL) in November 2019, citing breaches that compromised passenger safety and issues with transparency.
On Monday, deputy chief magistrate Tan Ikram ruled Uber is now suitable to hold an operator licence “despite historical failings” after hearing three days of arguments at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.
The judge said he took Uber’s “track-record of regulation breaches” into account but said the company had made efforts to address failings and had improved standards.
He will now hear applications on the length of the new licence as well as what conditions should be imposed.
Tim Ward QC, for Uber London Ltd, previously said improvements had been made, including in the company’s governance and document review systems.
He had also told the court TfL’s decision to not renew Uber’s licence was tipped by a critical report on their technical systems, which have since been assessed as suitable.
TfL first refused to renew the company’s licence in September 2017, but the firm was handed a 15-month licence by a judge in June 2018 after it took the case to court.
It was then given a further two-month licence in September 2019, after which TfL rejected Uber’s application for a new licence, citing “several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk”.
It was, however, allowed to keep operating until the result of this appeal could be determined.
The new licence is 18 months, meaning Uber will need to re-apply in 2022.
Our statement on today's appalling decision by Westminster Magistrates Court to grant Uber a licence to operate in London. Uber too big to regulate, but too big to fail: pic.twitter.com/71CdLd99LR— The LTDA (@TheLTDA) September 28, 2020
Judge Ikram was not asked to rule on whether TfL’s decision was correct, but purely on...