Uber’s had its day in court, but the law still needs to be rewritten

Whether or not Uber should be legal, regulating it shouldn’t be settled on the basis of statute which predates the iPhone by a decade

Good news for fans of disruption: Uber is legal in London, following a high court ruling backing up Transport for London’s decision to allow the cab app to operate in the capital.

For those who had been following the case, the ruling came as little surprise. Uber was quietly confident in the run-up to the decision, aware that that the letter of the law was firmly on its side.

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Taxi drivers surprised after high court rules Uber app legal in London – video

Richard Massett, representing the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association, says he is surprised that the high court ruled on Friday that Uber’s app is legal in London. The capital’s black-cab and minicab drivers claimed the Uber app was being used as a taximeter, a privilege afforded only to black-cab drivers who have done ‘the knowledge’

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Uber wins high court case over taxi app

TfL had sought legal clarity on whether tech firm’s app was a taximeter, which in London is exclusive right of black-cab drivers

The taxi-booking service Uber has received a boost after the high court ruled that its app was legal in London. Had it lost the case, the company would have been forced to change its service to comply with rules that protect black-cab drivers.

Related: Q&A: Uber court case in London

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Is Boris the black-cabbies’ ubermensch?

Surprisingly the mayor of London has proven to be the Hackney carriage’s biggest ally as customers and ministers throw their support behind taxi apps

Almost nobody has a good word to say about Transport for London’s ideas for regulating minicabs in the capital and Sajid Javid is the latest big name to come out to bat for Uber, the app-based service. Consumers must come first, says the business secretary, and innovation and disruptive technology should be welcomed. TfL’s proposals could “jeopardise our status as a country that welcomes investment, jobs and puts business first”.

It’s a popular line and Uber no doubt will soon be able to boast that 150,000 people have signed its online petition against TfL’s ideas. Some of the regulator’s thoughts are indeed clumsy. Making customers wait at least five minutes for a minicab is arbitrary and would be annoying. Yet the Conservative politician talking most sense about Uber and minicab regulation is Boris Johnson, mayor of London. It fell to him last week to make the basic point that TfL is trying to uphold a law that has distinguished between black cabs and minicabs since the 1960s.

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Javid warns against ‘heavy handed’ crackdown on Uber

Business secretary says bringing in red tape to stifle a creative company would dent London’s image as centre for new business and technology

Sajid Javid has warned against a “heavy handed” regulatory clampdown on Uber, the ride-hailing app firm, in London.

The business secretary, speaking in front of MPs at a select committee hearing on Wednesday, said he thought that if Transport for London brought in all the proposals it was considering in a public consultation on the taxi market in the capital, “many people would think it would have a massive detrimental impact on consumers in London”.

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Uber awaits high court verdict over smartphone app in battle with TfL

Transport for London is looking to clarify whether using smartphones to calculate fares amounts to a taximeter, which is banned in private hire vehicles

The ride-hailing app Uber is at the centre of a crucial high court case as London’s transport authority seeks clarity on whether smartphones can lawfully be used to calculate fares.

After a day hearing evidence from all sides, the judge is widely expected to give his decision on Tuesday. If he rules against Uber, the verdict will be viewed as a victory for black-cab drivers and other minicab groups who feel the disruptive tech-focused competitor has not been regulated firmly enough during its three years of rapid growth in London.

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Uber has challenged the taxi industry and it’s too late to apply the brakes

Transport for London’s belated attempt to regulate the sector is wrongheaded

Uber is not perfect. It is important to make that point before analysing Transport for London’s attempts to curtail its expansion. The taxi app has not done enough to guarantee the safety of its passengers or stop its prices surging when cities face unique events. On a lighter note, its drivers’ obsession with rigidly following their satnavs can be hugely irritating when that means flying over speed bumps and avoiding traffic-free routes that as a local resident you know are quicker.

However, this not an excuse for TfL’s ham-fisted attempt to protect the status quo. The organisation has launched a consultation on plans to overhaul the private-hire car market in London. The proposals include an interval of at least five minutes between booking a car and the start of a journey, a requirement for drivers to pass an English-language test and a map-reading assessment. Taxi firms may also have to operate a landline telephone service and accept bookings up to seven days in advance.

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Uber’s global battle moves to London

Ride-hailing app faces showdown in high court over whether its service breaches rules stating that only London black cabs can use meters

Uber’s running global battle with taxi drivers, politicians and legal authorities moves to London next week with a court hearing that could deal a blow to the ride-hailing app in one of its most successful markets.

The San Francisco-based company has 18,000 registered partners, or drivers, in the UK capital. But that growth could be checked in the high court on Monday when London’s transport regulator, Transport for London (TfL), asks a judge to decide whether Uber is breaking the law.

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Uber fires back in high court row with TfL

Taxi hailing company says regulator and court case aim to protect black cabs rather than give public what they want

Uber, the under-fire taxi-hailing app, has hit out at London’s transport regulator, Transport for London (TfL), for taking it to the high court on Monday in the latest threat to its explosive growth in the London taxi market.

The high court case, which will determine whether the Uber app breaks the law by effectively acting as a meter, is piling on the pressure for the ride-hailing firm.

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