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  1. ITV Report

Uber to challenge TfL's English language driver test

Uber will challenge the TfL proposals in court Credit: PA

Uber will take Transport for London (TfL) to court over new rules which would force its drivers to pass strict English tests.

The company said it had successfully applied for judicial review of regulations set out within TfL's licensing proposals.

Private hire driver licensing proposals, which are set to take effect on 1 October, would force thousands of Uber drivers to pass an English language test.

Without passing these tests, drivers would not be permitted to work in London.

But now Uber will be able to legally challenge the proposal, as well as TfL's demand for the company to open a 24-hour call centre in the capital and notify the transport body of any changes to its operating model.

Tom Elvidge, general manager at Uber London, said the company was "pleased" that a judge had ruled the case deserves a hearing.

TfL's plans threaten the livelihoods of thousands of drivers in London, while also stifling tech companies like Uber.

– Tom Elvidge, general manager at Uber London

TfL's new rules would require private hire drivers from non-English speaking countries to meet a B1 level of English in speaking, listening, reading and writing under Common European Framework standards.

Uber said it supports spoken English skills, but claims the exam goes beyond requirements for British citizenship as well as rules governing public sector workers.

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Rider feedback in July which concerned poor English (according to Uber)

A Transport for London spokesman said: "The changes to private hire regulation were made to enhance public safety and we are determined to create a vibrant taxi and private hire market, with space for all providers to flourish.

"We look forward to the remaining issues being resolved in due course".