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United Trade Action Group v Transport for London & Transopco UK Ltd (as Interested Party)

David Matthias QC
Charles Streeten

On a renewed oral application for permission, the United Trade Action Group (‘UTAG’ - a body representing the interests of the hackney carriage trade) was given permission by Mrs Justice LANG to judicially review the decision of TfL to grant a Private Hire Operator’s Licence to Transopco UK Ltd whose private hire drivers work off a smartphone  ride-hailing app called FREENOW.  LANG J. held that it was arguably unlawful for TfL to have granted an Operator’s Licence to Transopco, because Transopco (a) facilitated and encouraged private hire drivers to work off a ride-hailing app despite it being unlawful for private hire vehicles to ‘ply for hire’ on London’s roads, and (b) required private hire drivers to accept private hire bookings without themselves holding operators licences.  The Judge ordered that the case should be heard before a Divisional Court given its great importance and potential implications for private hire operators and drivers generally.

David Matthias QC and Charles Streeten appeared for UTAG