Uber saved from London court battle and is operating within the law says TfL
3 July 2014 11:32am
Transport for London (TfL) has announced that the High Court cannot proceed with a case regarding taxi app service Uber because the magistrates courts are deluged with cases concerning individual Uber drivers.
Furthermore, as far as TfL is concerned, Uber is acting within the law by using an app to calculate fares based on the time and distance travelled.
The London Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) has argued that Uber is in breach of regulations governing taximeters, which can only be used by black cabs.
TfL said in a statement: "In relation to the way Uber operates in London, TfL is satisfied that based upon our understanding of the relationship between the passenger and Uber London, and between Uber London and Uber UV, registered in Holland, that it is operating under the terms of the 1998 PHV(L) Act".
The decision was welcomed by Uber's general manger in the UK and Ireland Jo Bertram as a "victory for common sense, technology, innovation - and above all, London".
Back in June, thousands of London's black cabs staged a mass protest against Uber, organised by the LTDA. Taxi drivers in Milan, Barcelona, Berlin, Paris and a host of other cities also joined London cabbies in their denunciation of the four-year-old San Francisco startup.
However, the actions were condemned in many quarters as a stand against innovation and consumer choice.
"The cab drivers protesting this week will not be able to prevent technological innovation any more than the machine-breakers of the nineteenth century could stop the spread of the power loom", said Simon Walker, director general of the Institute of Directors.
However, the protest seems to have massively backfired, with Uber reporting a colossal 850 per cent rise in the number of people who had downloaded the company's app in wake of the protest.
Hostility from established interests toward the private hire company across Europe, seems to have had little impact on investors, with a valuation of $18bn after securing $1.2bn of primary capital in a new round of funding last month. However, Uber is not without supporters in high places who would like to see a shake up of the taxi industry.
After protests June's protests EU digital affairs commissioner Neelie Kroes "we cannot address these challenges by ignoring them, by going on strike, or by trying to ban these innovations out of existence."
“The disruptive force of technology is a good thing overall. It eliminates some jobs and it changes others", she added. Uber operates in more than 100 cities worldwide.
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