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YORK has followed London in refusing to renew minicab transnational Uber’s licence to operate in the city, it was revealed yesterday.
In its decision late on Tuesday, a City of York Council committee cited the number of complaints that it had received about the company.
More than half of the 296 complaints to the council about taxi and private hire drivers in the previous 12 months involved Uber, according to a report provided to the committee.
It also referred to a recent well-publicised data protection breach, which Uber paid to cover up, as another reason for the decision.
The seven-to-three vote of the gambling, licensing and regulatory committee was met by applause and cries of “thank you” from the public gallery.
Saf Din, chairman of the York Hackney Carriage Drivers Association, told the meeting that Uber was “systematically abusing” local laws and “looking for loopholes” by using out-of-town vehicles.
York’s decision was welcomed by the GMB union, which has successfully campaigned against Uber classifying drivers as “self-employed” rather than workers entitled to basic rights including holiday pay, the legal minimum wage and rest breaks.
GMB legal director Maria Ludkin told the Star: “Yet another sensible authority has expressed their concern about Uber’s fitness to operate in their city.
“GMB welcomes a sensible decision, once again focused on public safety and the safety of drivers.”
Uber has 21 days to appeal against the committee’s decision and can continue to operate in York until Christmas Eve, when its current licence expires, or an appeal is heard.
Transport for London refused to renew the company’s licence in September on the grounds of “public safety and security implications.” An appeal against the decision will be heard in the spring.
However, Uber can continue operating in Sheffield after its licence suspension was lifted by the city council on Wednesday.
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