York refuses to grant Uber licence to operate

York is taking a stand against Uber. (Pic: DACP – from under

York has refused to grant ride-hailing app Uber a licence to operate following a number of complaints in the city.

A committee at the City of York Council cited the complaints about the service and the well-publicised data protection breach as reasons behind the decision.

It followed a similar move by London in September, and a decision last week in Sheffield to also suspend the company's licence.

Saf Din, chairman of the York Hackney Carriage Drivers Association, told a York council meeting on Tuesday night that Uber was "systematically abusing" local laws and "looking for loopholes" by using out-of-town vehicles.

He said: "The trade does not object to fair competition, but Uber are not a fair player in the public transport world in the UK."

Uber's licence was due to expire in York on Christmas Eve, having twice been granted clearance to operate in the city.

Last month, it was revealed the company had been the subject of a massive data breach which affected 2.7 million UK users of the app.

A Nissan electric car at launch of the first Uber electric cars in London
Uber's licence was also recently suspended in Sheffield

Hackers obtained personal details of 57 million customers and drivers worldwide, including people's names, email address and mobile phone numbers.

Neil McGonigle, head of cities for the north of England for Uber, told the meeting there were 28,000 people who used the app in the city.

He said: "From our experience, the passengers love the ability to have the convenience of pressing a button to request a car, to take a trip without having to use cash at all and, from a safety point of view, being able to track every element of that journey."

He added the company had been "open and co-operative" with the council in tackling issues, including where drivers had applied for hire illegally.

A report to the council found the authority had received 296 complaints in the previous 12 months relating to hackney carriages and private hire vehicles, of which more than half related to Uber drivers.

Details of the specific complaints were not made public.

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Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision and can continue to operate in York until its licence expires or the appeal is heard.

The company's appeal against Transport for London's decision not to renew its licence will be heard next year.

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