Uber lodges appeal to overturn London ban

Uber is appealing Transport for London’s decision to deny it a new private hire licence for operating in the capital.

The ride hailing service filed papers with Westminster magistrates court on Friday to start the process – hours before the deadline.

It has pledged to “make things right” since TfL’s refusal last month to renew Uber’s licence on the grounds of “public safety and security implications”.

The firm’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers were cited among the concerns.

An Uber spokesman said: “While we have today filed our appeal so that Londoners can continue using our app, we hope to continue having constructive discussions with Transport for London.

“As our new CEO has said, we are determined to make things right.”

Video:Khan: ‘Uber not playing by the rules’

Talks in the capital earlier this month between the company’s new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi and transport commissioner Mike Brown were described by both sides as “constructive”.

Uber, which was licensed as a private hire company in London in 2012, has about 40,000 drivers in London and is used by 3.5 million people.

It had until 13 October to appeal the decision and can continue to operate until the end of any appeal process.

The company, which has been valued at almost $70bn, has been in turmoil in recent months over the conduct and subsequent exit of its founder, Travis Kalanick.

Its expansion has been blighted by regulatory and legal complications worldwide, including wrangles over the employment rights of its drivers in the UK.

The firm claims it is an agent for drivers – not an employer – and therefore does not need to offer benefits.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has accused Uber of not “playing by the rules”.

The company has accepted “that in lots of places it has had the wrong attitude and needs to change”.