After Transport for London (TFL)’s decision earlier in the year not to renew Ubers license, York has now followed by refusing to allow the company to operate in the city. TFL based their decision on the ground of “public safety and security implications”.
A committee at York City Council have now decided, due to the number of complaints received in relation to the level of service and Ubers track record with data protection, that they will no longer be licensed to run throughout the region.
It was revealed last month that Uber had suffered a major data breach which affected 57 million users globally and an estimated 2.7 million the UK. The data stolen during the hacking incident included names, email addresses and phone numbers of users, as well as driver details.
Saf Din, chairman of the York Hackney Carriage Drivers Association, told the Council that Uber was “systematically abusing” local regulations and laws, as well as consistently “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.”
The news comes as a blow for Uber, whose profits were up 65% before the London ban came into effect. However, the company has received some slightly better news as it’s been informed that the ban in Sheffield will be lifted and licenses should be restored pending confirmation from the council.
Their license in Sheffield was suspended earlier in the month over failure to respond to information requests. Officials have now confirmed they have had “productive discussions” with the company and are looking into renewing the license. Sheffield Council said in a recent statement that “The new application, made by Uber in October, to operate private hire cars in Sheffield is being considered and a decision will be made in early 2018.”
Neil McGonigle, head of the north of England for Uber commented on the councils decision, saying that “Over the course of the last 12 months we have seen a steady increase in the number of people looking to use the service we provide.”
“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. I believe that increased choice and competition is a good thing for both passengers and drivers in terms of increasing standards across the board.”