Uber will on Friday file its legal appeal against losing its
licence to operate in London, with the ride-hailing company set
to take on the city’s transport regulator in court.
An Uber spokesman confirmed to Business Insider the company had
not yet filed its appeal. If Uber fails to file before the end of
the day, it will no longer be permitted to operate in London.
London mayor Sadiq Khan said on Thursday that the appeal against
regulator Transport for London “will take its course” during a
City Hall question time session.
The legal battle follows purported peace talks between Dara
Khosrowshahi, Uber’s new chief executive, and TfL commissioner
Mike Brown. The pair met on October 3, a fortnight after Uber lost its
licence, and both sides described the talks as
“constructive”, but gave no further detail.
Khosrowshahi also published an open letter in London newspaper
The Evening Standard apologising for his
company’s prior misdemeanours. He didn’t go into specifics,
but TfL said it banned Uber because of the company’s alleged use
of its secret “Greyball” software to avoid regulators, and its
approach to reporting crime.
Alongside the outward apologies, Uber launched a
lobbying campaign to get its London customers onside. It
launched a “Save Your Uber” petition, prominently visible to
anyone using the Uber app in the British capital, which has now
racked up more than 850,000 supporters.
Uber also claimed TfL’s decision would affect its 3.5 million
London customers, and then 40,000 drivers who use the app for
work. But this week, one MP grilling Uber’s
UK policy chief described the company as a “hypocrite”, given
that it is also appealing against driver rights in a separate legal
Labour MP Peter Kyle said: “Your initial reaction was that TfL is
putting 40,000 people out of business. You are going to court
denying responsibility for those people in the first place. So
the word on everyone’s lips was ‘hypocrite,’ wasn’t it?”
Uber’s UK policy chief Andrew Byrne responded: “I don’t know, I
think we are conscious of the fact that 40,000 people who do use
Uber to make money in London. That fact weighs heavily in our
response. Hopefully we can see a path forward with TfL.”