Uber's row with London cabbies headed for High Court

Transport for London (TfL) has referred its row over car hire app Uber to the High Court.

TfL was challenged by black cab union the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) over its decision that Uber doesn’t break the Private Hire Vehicles Act. The union claims that an app used by Uber drivers to calculate journey times and determine fees functions in the same way as a taximeter, which private car hire firms are not allowed.

Because this is done by phone rather than equipment attached to the car, Transport for London says that Uber isn’t breaking the law. The High Court will have to decide whether the definition of a taximeter is limited to old technology only. The LTDA has already announced that it’s planning a demonstration against TfL’s handling of the situation on June 11th, which will be designed to cause widespread disruption.

Uber was founded in 2009 in San Francisco and launched in 2010. It now operates in more than 100 cities across 30 countries. But this isn’t the first time the company has faced legal action: it’s been challenged by transportation authorities in several cities, including San Francisco, where accusations of running an unlicensed taxi company led to the company changing its name from UberCab.

It has also been criticised for price hikes of up to seven times the usual rate in bad weather and on New Year’s Eve.

In a statement on their blog
[http://blog.uber.com/London-regulations], Uber said, “London cabbies are iconic – arguably the best taxis in the world. However, there is room for all and there is room for more and better. We are bringing competition to an industry that hasn’t evolved in years.”

Related: London cabbies don’t like Uber and plan ‘severe chaos’ in protest

Image via Kaua’i Dreams’ Flickr.

Diane Shipley