Feeds

London officials declare cabbie-bothering Uber is legal – for now

TfL reckons app doesn't qualify as taximeter, but wants to get the High Court on the case

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Transport for London (TfL) has said that it doesn’t think that the app used by Uber drivers is in breach of the law by allowing them to use GPS and navigation to calculate charges, but it wants to refer the issue to the UK High Court.

The capital’s transport authority said it didn’t agree that smartphones used by private hire drivers could be classed as “taximeters”, which are illegal in private cars. However, it said that it would be asking the courts to get involved “given the level of concern among the trade” and the fact that the law was “unclear” on the issue.

As in other major cities, taxi companies and organisations in London are railing against apps like Uber and local firm Hailo, which formerly worked only with licensed black cabs, but has expanded to include private hire minicabs. Cabbies are so enraged by the move that one of Hailo's offices in the City was graffitied during a protest earlier this month.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) is planning a demonstration against Uber on 11 June, which it expects to cause severe congestion and traffic chaos in central London, general secretary Steve McNamara said earlier this month.

The association reckons that the smartphone app used by Uber drivers, which calculates the journey and the time taken from GPS data and then comes up with a fee, is basically the same thing as a taximeter. But TfL said that after its “largest ever compliance investigation”, it hadn’t found anything legally wrong with the service.

“TfL has found that Uber meets the current requirements on record keeping, including in relation to ensuring its drivers hold the relevant licenses and insurance. TfL remains concerned about certain technical aspects of Uber’s operating model and this is being addressing with the operator,” the authority said.

Leon Daniels, TfL’s managing director of surface transport, said that the ruling on the taximeter issue was a preliminary one.

“On the issue of taximeters, the law is unclear and we have taken a provisional view. We will be asking the High Court to provide a binding ruling. This is the sensible approach, and we hope that London's taxi drivers and private hire drivers and operators will work with us to bring clarity on this issue,” he said. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.