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Uber launches legal challenge against Transport for London’s English test for drivers

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Ride-sharing app Uber has launched a legal challenge against Transport for London (TLF) in an attempt to stop the government body forcing its drivers to take a written English test.

Responsible for the transport system in Greater London, TFL had requested that all private-hire drivers from non English-speaking countries take a language proficiency test from October.

Speaking about the decision to challenge the London body, Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber London, said: “This legal action is very much a last resort.”

“We’re particularly disappointed that, after a lengthy consultation process with Transport for London, the goalposts have moved at the last minute and new rules are now being introduced that will be bad for both drivers and tech companies like Uber,” he added.

According to the BBC, Uber had initially supported an English-speaking and listening test, but the firm now says that the extensive tests required by TFL would incur additional and unnecessary costs to its drivers.

The firm, which is headquartered in San Francisco and claims to have over 30,000 drivers in London, says the requirement for non-English speakers to pass a written examination “is disproportionate and contravenes the Equality Act”.

As reported by the BBC, TfL said in a statement: “We responded to Uber’s letter and will be robustly defending the legal proceedings brought by them in relation to the changes to private-hire regulations.”