A decision by the capital’s taxi trade to start legal action against drivers working for mini cab firm Uber has derailed Transport for London’s efforts to obtain a high court ruling on the legality of the service.
The Google-backed Uber car service uses smartphone apps and GPS technology to calculate the fares passengers must pay.
London’s black cab trade says the use of such technologies breaches laws forbidding minicabs from fitting taximeters in their vehicles.
TfL, which regulates both Taxis and minicabs, says the apps are legal but last month asked the High Court to make a final ruling because some aspects of the law are “unclear”.
However TfL’s board was today told that the issuing of summonses by the London Taxi Drivers Association will prevent the court from considering the issue as it cannot intervention where litigation is underway.
Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport, told the board that the summonses would be heard by magistrates whose rulings aren’t binding and would almost certainly be appealed.
Although it was likely those appeals would eventually end up in the high court, Daniels said it would take “some considerable time” for this to happen.