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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Fresh legal challenge will delay decision on Uber

Whether the Uber smartphone app constitutes a taximeter (the use of which is restricted to licensed cabs in London) is not a question to which we will have an answer soon. The London Evening Standard reports that proceedings brought by Transport for London for a declaration have been placed on hold because the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association has started private prosecutions in the magistrates' court. Given that an appeal from the magistrates' court would go to the High Court anyway, this might just be a circuitous route to the same place - an unfortunate analogy, in the circumstances, but I wrote it without realising that and should let it stand: but I can make the metaphor a little more complicated by speculating that taxi drivers often know less direct but faster routes to their destination. However, here it seems to be a matter of who is in the driving seat: the LTDA understandably wonder whether TfL are sufficiently impartial, given that their legal action seeks a declaration that their decision (that Uber is not a taximeter) was correct.

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