Taxi app Uber has lost a legal battle to stop private hire drivers from facing English language tests in the UK.
London’s High Court ruled in favour of the capital’s transport regulator Transport for London (TfL), which is bringing in new rules forcing drivers to prove their ability to communicate in English.
Legal representatives for the US company had argued the standard of the tests was set too high.
Rejecting Uber’s claim, Judge John Mitting said: “TfL are entitled to require private hire drivers to demonstrate English language compliance.”
Uber has already said it will appeal the decision.
Uber just lost the court case over English language tests for drivers. Their anger shows they don't care for customer safety.— London Taxi News (@cabbienews) March 3, 2017
However, the app did manage to successfully overturn proposals by TfL to order drivers to have permanent private hire insurance and for Uber to operate a 24-7 call centre.
Uber’s London manager Tom Elvidge, said: “Transport for London’s own estimates show that their plans will put more than 33,000 existing private hire drivers out of business.
“That’s why we intend to appeal this unfair and disproportionate new rule.”
Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, welcomed the court ruling.
He said: “Drivers being able to speak English and understand information from passengers and licensing requirements is a vital part of ensuring passengers get the high standard of service they need and deserve.”
San Francisco-based Uber, which allows users to book journeys at the touch of a button on their smartphone, has faced bans and protests around the world as regulators play catch-up with technology disrupting traditional operators.
TfLhas said the new requirements will ensure passenger safety and to raise standards.