High Court rules Uber is legal in blow to black cabs

Black cab drivers suffered a heavy blow after the High Court ruled that Uber, the taxi-hailing app, does not break the law.

The argument from black cab drivers was that American firm Uber breached a law which bans private hire cars from having taximeters equipped. They said that the app calculating the journey fare, using GPS signals, broke this law.

In order to attain clarification on the matter, Transport for London (TfL) went to court. Mr Justice Ouseley stated that the app operates differently to the taximeters, which do not depend on GPS signals, or have any other new-technology characteristics which Uber has, when calculating journey costs.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) wanted the judge to rule it was a meter, and are expected to appeal against the decision.

Black cab drivers argue that Uber can result in customers being overcharged, as they cannot challenge fares before the money is removed from their bank accounts. Experts predict that this ruling is only the beginning of the story.

A number of serious regulation changes have also been proposed by the mayor, such as a ban on apps which show which cars are immediately available, or introducing a minimum wait of five minutes between booking a taxi via an app, and it picking you up.

Uber said: “Now the high court has ruled in favour of new technology, we hope Transport for London will think again on their bureaucratic proposals for apps like Uber.”

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