The deadline for mini cab drivers to sit an English language test has been pushed back after Uber won the right to take its opposition to the tests to the Court of Appeal.
In March the app-based cab service lost a High Court challenge against rules requiring every one of the capital’s mini cab drivers to sit a £200 English test.
Uber says it backs calls for drivers to be able to clearly communicate with passengers but argues the standards proposed by Transport for London, which regulates private hire drivers and services, exceed what’s necessary to achieve this.
Disallowing the original challenge, High Court Judge John Mitting ruled that “TfL are entitled to require private hire drivers to demonstrate English language compliance.”
However Uber has now been given permission to take its case to the Court of Appeal where its concerns will be heard anew.
Tom Elvidge, the firm’s London General Manager, said: “We’re pleased to have secured this appeal to defend tens of thousands of drivers who risk losing their livelihoods because they can’t pass an essay writing test.
“While we’ve always supported spoken English skills, writing an essay has nothing to do with communicating with passengers or getting them safely from A to B.”
Following the latest legal development TfL has pushed back the deadline to take a test.
A spokesperson said: “As the English language requirement for private hire drivers is subject to legal proceedings, we propose to extend the deadline to meet the requirement to 9 April 2018.
“We maintain that all licensed drivers must be able to communicate in English at an appropriate level. This is vital for passenger safety and was supported by the High Court.
“We will continue to robustly defend this position at the appeal.”