In a significant judgment Mr Justice Mitting found that 2 out of the 3 remaining requirements TfL had imposed on the London private hire vehicle industry were unlawful and quashed them.
TfL had conceded during the hearing that the Insurance Requirement it had imposed on PHV vehicles, requiring them to be continuously covered by Hire & Reward insurance for the PHV licence duration (even when they were not used to provide PHV services) was unlawful, being based on a misunderstanding of the MIB longstop insurance required by EU law. Of the two remaining live issues he found that the English Language Requirement for B1 competence in reading and writing was lawful, but that TfL’s Telephone Requirement for all PHV operators to operate a complaints line for any and all issues a customer might want to raise about bookings (a requirement that impacted severely on app only providers like Uber and upon operator-drivers) was disproportionate. The most that could proportionately be required was an emergency help line for cases of genuine urgency. The Judge quashed the Insurance Requirement and the Telephone Requirement and awarded Uber 50% of its costs, including an interim payment on account of costs of £200,000. Both parties indicated a wish to appeal the points on which they were unsuccessful.
Tom de la Mare QC and Hanif Mussa acted for Uber London Limited and three PHV drivers adversely affected by the new requirements.