York Just Refused to Renew Uber's Licence

By Tom Pritchard on at

London and Sheffield have both been in the news because regulators have ended up denying Uber the chance o renew its operating licence for a variety of reasons. London did it over concerns about the way the ride-hailing service operated, and Sheffield thanks to what's being described as an "administration error" (though apparently that situation has been dealt with). Now York has become the third UK city to do the same, and it's got a totally new reason for it.

The City of York council’s gambling, licensing and regulatory committee had been considering an application to renew Uber's operating licence within the city, but ultimately chose not to. Unlike London, which deemed Uber wasn't "fit and proper" to operate within the city, York council's licensing team found that "there is no evidence before your officers that indicates the applicant is not fit and proper to hold an operator’s licence in York".

Instead the council has concerns regarding the recently uncovered data breach, which now-former Uber executives paid to cover up for a year. 2.7 million UK users were affected by the hack, and York's final decision was based on"concerns about a data breach currently under investigation and the number of complaints received".

Uber's 12 month licence is set to expire on New Year's Eve, and Uber says it will be reviewing the decision once it receives formal notification from the council. Neil McConigle, Uber's York general manager, said:

“This is a disappointing vote for the riders and drivers who use our app in the city. More choice and competition is a good thing for both consumers and licensed drivers in the area. Passengers tell us they love being able to track their car on a live map, pay without cash and get a receipt with their fare and the route taken. Licensed drivers partner with us because with Uber they can choose if, when and where they drive."

No doubt the company will file an appeal before the year is up, like it did in both London and Sheffield. That's also likely to mean that the company will be able to continue operating until the appeals go through the various levels of the court system. [The Telegraph]

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