Uber 2

Controversial taxi-booking app Uber has been deemed "lawful" by the High Court.

Transport for London (TfL) took the matter to court "in the public interest", with the High Court asked to determine whether or not the company's smartphones were considered at meters, something that is against the law for private hire vehicles.

Uber allows users to book a taxi, which often arrives within minutes. It then uses GPS and external servers to calculate the fare, which often leaves it cheaper for the customer.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association (LTDA), which represents 25,000 black cab drivers in London, called the judge, Mr Justice Ouseley, to rule that the smartphone is a meter, therefore bringing a ban.

An Uber spokesman said: "This was not a marginal call; it is quite emphatic. In fact, it is contemptuous of the case brought before it.

"Uber will continue going about our business and making sure customers have choice."

Tfl said there was "significant public interest in establishing legal certainty in the matter".

Uber has been banned in several cities around the world for various reasons. Licensed taxi drivers are concerned that Uber drivers are not licensed, and are therefore not bound by the same regulations. In some cities, customers have made allegations of sexual assault carried out by Uber drivers, adding to concerns over licensing and regulation of drivers.