Now London's black cabbies are suing Uber drivers

It means Uber can keep on operating - and winning more fans - while the courts ponder.

by Rachel Savage
Last Updated: 17 Oct 2014

London’s black cabbies are waging war against taxi upstart Uber with all the subtlety and success of Luddites – when they blocked the capital’s streets last month, for example, sign-ups to their rival rocketed by 850%. Now they are taking Uber drivers to court, which will probably just prolong the inevitable – that Uber will be allowed to keep on keeping on.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) has filed criminal proceeding against six Uber drivers (seems a bit unfair on them…), claiming the smartphone app they use to calculate fares means they are operating taxi meters without a license.

Transport for London thinks otherwise and had already asked the High Court to clarify the matter once and for all. That conclusion is now going to come ‘later rather than sooner’, it said, as criminal cases take longer to work their way through lower courts up to the top.

That means Uber can just keep on growing and winning more fans, while the black cab drivers continue to look petty and vindictive, instead of working out how they could be more polite and better value for money.

TfL also handed Uber another victory by confirming it can legally operate in the capital. Cabbies had claimed having its European headquarters in the Netherlands meant it wasn’t licensed here.

‘Today is a victory for common sense, technology, innovation – and above all, London,’ said Jo Betram, the head of Uber in the UK. Hear, hear.

MT tried to reach LTDA for comment, but no one was available.

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