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Uber in court battle to overturn loss of London licence

The US-based ride-hailing firm said it had made several changes to its business model since losing it licence in September 2017, including 24/7 telephone support

Uber on phone being used by driver
Uber is now seeking an 18-month licence to prove to the authorities that it has reformed

Uber is appealing today to overturn a decision by Transport for London (TfL) to strip it of its licence to run a taxi service in the city.

The US-based ride-hailing firm said it had made several changes to its business model since losing it licence in September 2017, including 24/7 telephone support, proactive reporting of serious incidents to police and changes in senior management.

READ: Warren Buffett sought US$3bn investment in Uber, but talks broke down

After its application for a five-year licence was rejected last year by TfL, the company is now seeking an 18-month one to prove to the authorities that it has reformed.

Even though the appeal, to be heard at Westminster Magistrates’ Court by Judge Emma Arbuthnot, is not expected to be the end of a potential years-long legal process, Uber can still operate in the city while the proceedings take place.

READ: Uber sees big jump in first-quarter sales growth, plans to invest gains back into its business

When it stripped Uber of its licence, TfL cited several failings from the firm including its reporting of serious criminal offences and background checks for its drivers.

London is a big foreign market for the US company, with around 40,000 of its 50,000 UK drivers based there.

The company has also been stripped of its operating licence in Brighton and York, although it is appealing both decisions and has since acquired new licenses in Sheffield, Cambridge, Nottingham, and Leicester.

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