London mayor Sadiq Khan said: “After years of operating poorly in London, Uber has now accepted that TfL’s action in refusing to renew their license was totally justified. Today our stance has been vindicated by the court”.
Transport for London (TfL) had refused to renew Uber’s license when it expired last September, stating that the US ride-hailing firm was not a “fit and proper” operator.
Following a two-day hearing at Westminister Magistrates’ Court, Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said Uber was now considered “fit and proper”.
Magistrate Arbuthnot ordered Uber to pay TfL’s legal costs of £425,000 (USD $561,000).
Uber has been put on probation – their 15 month licence has a clear set of conditions that TfL will thoroughly monitor and enforce.
TfL’s Taxi and Private Hire (TPH) Compliance Officers have been granted new powers by the Metropolitan Police to carry out road stops without police presence for the first time.
TfL’s TPH Compliance Officers are now being specially trained with powers to stop any TPH vehicle for inspection, testing and verification of licensing conditions without the presence of police – this could include checking for valid insurance, inspecting the driver’s licence or photo ID, and inspecting the vehicle for any defects.
The new powers will help deal with the rapid growth of the capital’s private hire industry, which has seen an increase from 59,000 licensed drivers in 2009/10 to around 113,000.
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: ‘The safety of Londoners is my number-one priority, and with the growth of the private hire industry in London it is essential we give our compliance officers real powers to clamp down on illegal activity, and take action against unsafe and unlicensed vehicles.