British judge rules Uber can keep driving in London

June 26 (UPI) — A British judge ruled Tuesday ride-share company Uber can operate in London, after a regulatory agency sought a ban last year.

The city’s transportation regulatory agency, Transportation for London, decided not to renew Uber’s license when it expired Sept. 30, citing “a lack of corporate responsibility” and “potential public safety and security implications.”

Of particular concern was Uber’s reporting of “serious” criminal offenses and background checks, TFL said.

In the meantime, as the issue was being decided in court, Uber’s 40,000 London drivers continued to operate.

Westminster Magistrates’ Court Judge Emma Arbuthnot ruled Tuesday Uber could continue in one of the company’s most lucrative markets in the world. It was given a 15-month probationary license.

The case has prompted some safety changes, including a new directive to report serious incidents to the police instead of relying on the drivers to do it themselves. Uber also recently announced an emergency button in its app to connect directly with 911.

In another effort to boost its tarnished reputation, Uber also hired Laurel Powers-Freeling, former director at the Court of the Bank of England, as chair of its British operations.

Uber attorney Thomas de la Mare told the court, “The onus is on us […] We accept that TFL’s decision was the right decision at the time.”

Arbuthnot wrote in her opinion the changes Uber made, especially hiring Power-Freeling, helped sway her vote in Uber’s favor.

“I was satisfied that under her Chairmanship, as long as she is kept informed of what is happening day-to-day in the business, that the changes that [Uber] has put in hand will be maintained,” Arbuthnot wrote.

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