Uber has been declared legal by the UK high court following a dispute over the app’s fare calculation measures.
Striking a blow to the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) and numerous anti-Uber lobby groups, the court found that Uber’s in-app fare calculation was found not to be a taximeter – a fare measurement device legally restricted only to licensed black cabs.
Although the app does calculate the price of the commuter’s journey, the court ruled that it does not come under the definition of taximeter as it is defined by the law.
The fact the cars are not equipped with the meters and the notion that the fare is calculated by a smartphone app which connects with the Uber server via GPS, set enough distance between the service and the definition of taximeters to ensure the legality of Uber’s current service.
Jo Bertram, Uber UK regional general manager, said in a statement: “This is great news for Londoners and a victory for common sense. 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.
"Compulsory five-minute waits and banning ride-sharing would be bad for riders and drivers. These plans make no sense. That's why 130,000 people have already signed our petition against these proposals. We hope TfL will listen to Londoners and let Uber keep London moving."
An unhappy “Licensed Taxi Drivers Association” took to Twitter to describe the law “as an ass”.
The law really is an Ass! It uses time & distance to calculate fare and it's not a meter????
— The LTDA (@TheLTDA) October 16, 2015
Uber isn’t out of trouble yet however, the LTDA intends to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court. Predictably, Uber described the ruling as "a victory for common sense".
A victory for common sense: today, the High Court decided Uber’s app is an app - not a taximeter. http://t.co/frCq7jLUNF
— Uber UK (@UberUK) October 16, 2015
The ruling follows London Mayor Boris Johnson calling for updates to the law to facilitate the use of digital ride-hailing apps such as Uber,
Read the full ruling here.