London taxi drivers slap criminal cases on six Uber drivers

July 04, 2014 - 4:56:17 am

LONDON: The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association has filed criminal proceedings in London against six Uber Technologies drivers, blocking transport officials from seeking guidance from a civil court on the mobile-phone app.

The move is the latest by local taxi drivers to block the approval of Uber’s app, which connects passengers with cars. Transport for London said that its bid to have a civil court clarify rules for what constitutes a regulated taxi service would have to wait until criminal cases are finished.

Uber has come under fire by traditional taxi drivers worldwide who say they are bound by rules that don’t apply to the smartphone-based system. Last month cabbies in London snarled traffic, protesting what they saw as the government’s failure to hold Uber to the same standards as other car services.

“The reason we have gone down the private prosecution route as opposed to the judicial direction routes is that we have no confidence in TFL’s legal team,” Steve McNamara, the general secretary of the LTDA, said yesterday in a phone interview. “TfL as a regulator are not fit for purpose.

The Uber drivers are scheduled to appear at Westminster Magistrate’s court towards the end of the month, McNamara said.