Uber Loses York License
York has become the third UK city to ban Uber, following a decision by councillors to reject the firm’s application for a new license.
The news follows similar decisions made by authorities in London and Sheffield, both of which declined to renew Uber’s license earlier this year.
York Council’s Gambling, Licensing and Regulatory committee stated that the news of Uber’s recent data breach partially informed the decision to not renew the firm’s license. Decision makers also stated that the York council had received around 155 complaints about Uber drivers and vehicles, with 129 of these made against drivers licensed by other authorities.
Drivers in York have long been uncomfortable with Uber’s presence in the city, with some complaining that the firm had resulted in unfair levels of competition. Echoing this opinion, Saf Din of York Hackney Carriage Association stated that York had been “overwhelmed” by out of town drivers, citing that some had come as far as London and Birmingham to work in the city.
Local press reported that 35 drivers attending the hearing cheered the decision, which was viewed as somewhat of a victory for the city’s Hackney Cab and Private Hire industries. Mike Palmer of the York Private Hire Association said “It’s a great result for us and every council can use it to suspend them all over the country. It’s a morale boost because a lot of the drivers on both sides – the Hackney Carriages and Private Hire – have put a lot of hard work into this.”
However, an Uber spokesperson said that competition was good for York’s local economy, stating that the decision was “disappointing […] for the riders and drivers who use our app in the city”. Uber has 21 days to decide whether it wants to appeal the verdict, and is expected to do so.