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Uber On a Roll Again in London

Despite Transport for London ruling last year banning the ridesharing service, a judge finds company ‘fit and proper’

Ridesharing service Uber will retain its license operate in London, following the successful appeal of a determination last year by Transport for London denying the company an operator’s license.

The decision handed down in Westminster Magistrates’ Court means Uber is now set to be granted a new license to operate in the capital, although the length of license, and any conditions attached to it, are yet to be confirmed. In his ruling Judge Tan Ikram said, “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 license.”

The judge’s ruling overturns TfL’s announcement last November that it would not be granting the ride-sharing company a new license, stating that the company was “not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license.” In denying the license, TfL cited a “pattern of failures” including “unauthorized drivers exploiting vulnerabilities in the app to carry thousands of passengers.”

In August, an emergency stay issued by an appeals court enabled Uber and its competitor Lyft to continue operating in California, pending oral arguments regarding a new state law that would require ridesharing companies to reclassify their drivers as employers. Both Uber and Lyft have threatened to pull out of California if the law goes into effect.