Uber gets go-ahead as York licence granted

An Uber taxi
The ride-hailing firm previously had its York licence refused following complaints [Getty]

Uber has been granted a licence to operate private hire cars in York once again after a six-year ban.

City of York Council's licensing committee voted to approve the online ride-hailing firm's application on Tuesday.

The York City Taxi Association held a protest against the application outside the council's offices ahead of the four-hour meeting.

The company's licence includes conditions banning its drivers from parking in hackney carriage spaces.

Protestors outside the council offices
Existing taxi drivers in York have spoken out against Uber's presence in the city [BBC]

The meeting heard one of the main complaints from taxi drivers in York was Uber drivers parking in, and picking up customers from, hackney carriage bays.

Despite not having a licence in the city since 2017, Uber drivers from other areas have been allowed to operate legally in York using licences granted elsewhere.

Some councillors expressed their concerns about a data breach at the company which had previously led to its licence being revoked.

There was a significant data breach at the company in 2016 which affected 57 million users, but they failed to report this to the authorities.

Councillor Jason Rose told the meeting: "We have no idea if they are better or worse than that now because they have chosen not to tell us for seven years about anything they legally didn't have to."

A representative for Uber said they believed they had "met the fit and proper test definition" with their application.

One taxi driver currently working in the city said drivers were already "struggling" and urged members of the licensing committee to "please help your local drivers to get enough to feed our families".

The Uber representative said they wanted to provide opportunities for "local York drivers" when asked if it would be them or cabbies from further afield who might benefit from a licence being granted.

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