LONDON Oct 17 London's transport bosses said on
Monday that all drivers of private hire vehicles must speak,
listen to, read and write English to a set level, intensifying a
battle with taxi app Uber which says the expected
standard is too high.
Earlier this year, the capital's transport authority said it
would introduce the measure as part of a series of stricter
rules on apps such as Uber and private hire firms like Addison
Lee whilst supporting the city's iconic black cabs.
The move prompted San Francisco-based Uber, which allows
users to book journeys on their smartphone, to take legal action
arguing that the written component was too demanding.
But on Monday, regulator Transport for London (TfL) said
drivers will have to take either an English proficiency test or
provide proof, such as a British school qualification, that they
can meet the required level.
"Drivers must be able to communicate with passengers to
discuss a route, or fare, as well as reading and understanding
important regulatory, safety and travel information," TfL said
in a statement.
A hearing in the case brought by Uber, whose investors
include Goldman Sachs and Alphabet Inc unit GV, formerly
known as Google Ventures, is due in December.
(Reporting by Costas Pitas; editing by Stephen Addison)