Uber regains London licence despite ‘historical failings’

LONDON: Uber has won a legal bid to restore its London operating licence which was taken away by the city’s transport regulator over safety concerns, after a judge decided on Monday that it was a fit and proper operator.

Transport for London (TfL) refused to grant the Silicon Valley-based company a new licence in 2019 due to what it called a “pattern of failures”.

Uber argued it has since assuaged concerns over insurance verification and driver identification.

The US company was also denied a licence by TfL in 2017, a major blow in one of its most important markets, before a different judge restored it on a probationary basis.

“Despite their historical failings, I find them, now, to be a fit and proper person to hold a London PHV (private hire vehicle) operator’s licence,” Judge Tan Ikram said in his written verdict.

“I do, however, wish to hear from the advocates on conditions and on my determination as to the length of a licence,” he said.

Uber, which has apologised for mistakes it has made, has run into regulatory barriers and a backlash in other countries, forcing it to withdraw from some markets.

Shares in Uber rose 6% in pre-market US trading after the decision.