Uber: Major UK cities have no plans to follow London in banning taxi-app

Jonathan Mitchell
City Hall has banned the controversial taxi-app: Getty Images

Cities across the UK have said they have no plane to follow Transport for London’s example in stripping controversial taxi-app Uber of its licence.

TfL sensationally moved to not to grant the taxi firm a private hire licence in a shock announcement on Friday morning, sparking fears councils across the UK would follow the example.

Bosses accused the company of failing to ensure “passenger safety” after a string of allegations the company failed to report sex attacks by drivers.

Uber operates in 20 locations across the UK and Ireland outside of the capital, according to its website.

Uber has been stripped of its licence to operate in London (EPA)

The move has sparked a huge backlash among some users in the capital, with a petition set up calling on TfL to reverse the decision reaching more than 250,000 signatures in just a matter of hours.

But some UK councils have eased fears Uber will similarly be stripped of its licence in major cities.

Bristol City Council said it would "keep a close eye on the outcome" of the dispute with TFL.

A spokesman added: "While we note the reasons TfL have given for not renewing Uber's licence, both Uber and their drivers fully comply with all aspects of Bristol's licensing policy.

"On that basis, there is no evidence to review their current licence but we will continue to monitor the situation."

In Manchester, the city council's executive member for neighbourhoods, Nigel Murphy, said its licensing system was "robust" for all private hire vehicles and taxis.

A petition calling on TfL to reverse the decision has reached more than 250,000 signatures (Change.org)

He added: "Uber Britannia - which is a separate company to Uber London - is licensed to operate in Manchester until 2021 as a private hire operator.

"As is the case with all licensees, we will continue to monitor their compliance with the conditions of their licence to operate while at the same time monitoring events as they unfold in the capital."

The travel app service launched in London in July 2012. Other cities and regions followed, including Glasgow and Edinburgh in November 2015, Belfast the following month and Cardiff in April 2016.

Other locations include Birmingham, Nottingham, Bristol, Leeds and Brighton.

A Cardiff Council spokesman said it would be inappropriate to comment on the TfL decision while Uber has the right of appeal.

He added: "At this stage, the council has no information to suggest Uber are breaching their license conditions in Cardiff."

In Belfast, the managing director of Belfast taxi firm Value Cabs last year claimed a "loophole" in the legislation had left his company facing unfair competition from Uber's operation in the city.

The row surrounded the definition of drivers and regulatory matters, and Uber said at the time it would comply with all necessary regulation.

Uber was refused the right to run a pilot operation with private cars in Ireland this year.

Although the ride-sharing company first appeared in the Republic about three years ago, it was told by regulators that its proposal for Limerick city would be illegal.

The National Transport Authority (NTA) said there is nothing stopping the country's 26,087 licensed drivers from signing up to Uber but journeys have to be taken in their licensed taxis or in chauffeur-driven cars.