Uber London licence legal appeal "will take its course", says London mayor Sadiq Khan, and TfL will defend decision

Lynsey Barber
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Uber has just over 24 hours to file an appeal or stop operating as a deal with TfL is unlikely (Source: Getty)

Transport for London will defend its decision not to renew Uber's licence in the capital in court, Sadiq Khan has said.

The legal appeal "will take its course" said the city's mayor, speaking at City Hall's question time on Thursday morning, where he faced questioning on the matter from London Assembly members.

Read more: Khan: London is tech city in spite of Uber dispute

"I presume Uber will be appealing, and I suspect the legal appeal will take its course," he said. "The courts now will consider the appeal from Uber and of course TfL will defend the decision they made on the 22 September."

"I think Londoners should welcome a u-turn from the global chief executive of Uber," he added, referring to the apology of Dara Khosrowshahi following the decision.

Uber is expected to lodge its appeal with the magistrates court by the end of the week with time running out and no sign of any fresh deal with TfL on the table. It would have to stop operating immediately if it did not file the appeal by Friday. It can continue to operate until the appeals process is exhausted. Talks between the two sides are expected to continue in tandem with the legal proceedings.

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"The court has a power to reverse or vary, for instance by granting a licence for a period of less than the usual five years," said John Martyn, a lawyer at Howard Kennedy.

"The hearing will be on a 'de novo basis', that is to say, the court will consider the matter anew rather than simply reviewing TfL's decision. The court will examine the evidence that was considered by TfL when making the decision, the relevant TfL policies and make its own decision on the merits of the appeal."

Khan yesterday insisted London remained open to innovation despite the dispute. Several other startups wanting to compete with Uber in London have criticised the lack of communication from the regulator and have been left waiting months in limbo when it comes to being granted permission.

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