Boris Johnson appears to be backing London's cabbies in a row with his transport chiefs over controversial 'taxi apps'.
The mayor believes the smartphones used minicab firm Uber are 'effectively a meter'. If the mayor is right, Uber drivers could be breaking the law.
But Johnson's verdict contradicts the view held by bosses at Transport for London who granted Uber a Private Hire licence.
The decision infuriated the black cab trade and led to a series of protests where cabbies blockaded parts of central London
TfL wants the High Court to give a ruling but the case has been delayed by a decision by the cabbies' union, the LTDA, to launch a private prosecution against four Uber drivers.
"We've got to sort this out because what you've got is the Uber people using what I think is effectively a meter because you're reading from it the fare and distance.If it's a meter then that company is in breach of the act.
But the trouble is the initial advice that TfL got was that it wasn't a meter. and so we had to.
It doesn't matter if the calculation is done in outer space as far as I'm concerned, if it's there in the dial, if the actual meter is there in the cab, then that's a meter.
Anything that a human being reads is a matter. But this is for the courts determine."
– BORIS JOHNSON, THE MAYOR OF LONDON
"Since launching in London over two years ago, hundreds of thousands of Londoners have already embraced Uber connecting them to the safest, most reliable private hire and taxi drivers in this great city.
TfL has already looked at the Uber app and found it to be compliant with regulation, and we welcome its decision to confirm their interpretation - that Uber’s app, installed on a driver’s smartphone, is not a taximeter - in the High Court."