Uber’s appeal against Transport for London’s (TfL) refusal to renew its operating licence will be heard this week.

A four-day hearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court begins on Monday.

TfL rejected Uber’s application for a new London licence in November 2019 due to “several breaches that placed passengers and their safety at risk”.

It found that a change to Uber’s systems allowed unauthorised people to upload their photographs to legitimate driver accounts, enabling them to pick up passengers.

Jamie Heywood, Uber’s regional general manager for northern and eastern Europe, said: “We have worked hard to address TfL’s concerns over the last few months, rolled out real time ID checks for drivers, and are committed to keeping people moving safely around the city.”

Uber has been allowed to continue operating in London until the appeal process is completed.

TfL first refused to renew the company’s licence in September 2017 amid safety concerns, but the firm successfully appealed against the decision.

The company’s appeal is set to be heard from Monday until Thursday at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court, though it’s unclear when a ruling will be made.

At stake is Uber’s largest market by far in Europe.

The company has around 3.5 million users and 45,000 drivers in London, growing to become the city’s top ride-hailing player since operations began in 2012.

But Uber’s history in London has been littered with controversies, from its handling of sexual assault allegations to a rift with the black cab industry.

It also faces heavy competition in London from several new operators including India’s Ola and Estonia’s Bolt.