Uber Facing $312 Million Claim by London Black Cabbies

Claims lodged that ride-hail giant misled regulators over its app to gain a taxi license in the British capital.

Paul Myles, European Editor

May 2, 2024

2 Min Read
London Black Cab
London Black Cab drivers launch legal case against Uber.

Ride-hail disruptor Uber is facing a multimillion-dollar legal case brought by nearly 11,000 drivers of London’s iconic Black Cabs.

The latest action by registered drivers of Hackney Cabs in the British capital is thought to be worth £250 million ($312 million) as drivers seek compensation for lost earnings because of Uber’s activities in the city, BBC News reports.

Drivers claim that the company deliberately misled taxi regulator body Transport for London (TfL) about how its app worked in order to obtain a license to operate in the city.

The group action focuses on Uber's operations in London between May 2012 and March 2018. Claimants also allege Uber's intention was to “unlawfully...take business from existing black cab drivers”, according to a statement by litigation management firm RGL Management.

“Uber has consistently failed to comply with the law that applies to private hire vehicles in London,” Richard Leedham, a partner at the firm, tells the BBC.

TfL refused to renew the company's license in 2017, saying it showed “a lack of corporate responsibility” with “public safety and security implications” including allegations of drivers using fake IDs and committing sexual assaults against female passengers.

Uber's chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi apologized at the time for past mistakes and the company successfully appealed after renewal of the license was again denied two years later. In 2022, a two-and-a-half-year license to operate in London was granted and this is due to expire at the end of this September.

Garry White, a black cab driver for 36 years, says: “Uber seems to believe it is above the law and cabbies across London have suffered loss of earnings because of it. It is time they were held to account.”

A spokesperson for Uber tells the BBC: “These old claims are completely unfounded. Uber operates lawfully in London, is fully licensed by TfL and is proud to serve millions of passengers and drivers across the capital.”

About the Author(s)

Paul Myles

European Editor, Informa Group

Paul Myles is an award-winning journalist based in Europe covering all aspects of the automotive industry. He has a wealth of experience in the field working at specialist, national and international levels.

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