Uber loses challenge over English language tests for London drivers

Uber drivers in London will be required to pass an English language exam, Reuters reports, after a court ruled against the ride-hailing company in a decision announced Friday.

Uber had been seeking to stop new English proficiency requirements announced last year by Transport for London (TfL), the city’s transportation agency. Under the regulations, all private-hire drivers will have to pass an English language exam to receive their license, or provide other documentation to prove their proficiency. The exam can cost up to £200 ($245).

“TfL are entitled to require private hire drivers to demonstrate English language compliance.”

TfL has defended the measure as a way to enhance public safety, though Uber argued that the requirements would place an unnecessary burden on its drivers and that the standard were too high. Immigration groups also criticized the regulations on the grounds that they would be discriminatory. The startup filed a lawsuit in August 2016 to block an earlier version of the rules, which would have required a written and oral test. Uber has previously said that the language requirements would impact about 40 percent of its drivers in London.

"TfL are entitled to require private hire drivers to demonstrate English language compliance," Judge John Mitting said Friday, according to Reuters.

Representatives from Uber and TfL did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the decision.

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