York becomes third English city to ban Uber

Uber has been banned in London, Sheffield and now York (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

Uber has been dealt another blow after York became the third English city to ban the taxi hailing service.

Councillors cited the complaints about the service and the well-publicised data protection breach as reasons behind the decision.

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

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Local taxi drivers had raised concerns that the city would be overwhelmed by Uber drivers.

The decision follows similar moves in London in September and Sheffield last week.

Saf Din, chairman of the York Hackney Carriage Drivers Association, told the council meeting 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.”

Taxi hailing app Uber has been a huge success across the world but is now running into roadblocks (Getty Images)

Din added that some Uber drivers were coming from as far afield as London and Birmingham to work in York, taking money out of the local economy.

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

A report to the council revealed 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.

No details of the nature of the complaints was revealed, although public safety and Uber’s vetting of drivers has become a hot potato for licensing authorities.

Neil McGonigle, head of cities for the north of England for Uber, told councillors on the Gambling, Licensing and Regulatory Committee there were 28,000 people who used the app in the city.

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“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 said.

But councillors voted 7 to 3 to reject the application to renew the licence to operate. Uber can appeal.
The company will take its appeal the ban in London to TfL in the spring, while it has yet to decide what it will do in Sheffield.