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“Uber drivers 'not licensed' to operate in York”

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“Uber drivers 'not licensed' to operate in York” 21st November 2018

A leading licensing QC has written to York City Council advising them that, in his opinion, Uber is operating unlawfully in the city.

According to local reports, the York Private Hire Association instructed Gerald Gouriet QC to give advice on the legitimacy of Uber’s trading practices in the city.

Last December, City of York Council refused to renew the operators' licence held by Uber in the city, but the report - which has been sent to the council - said "the refusal appears to have made little or no difference".

The report said that Mr Gouriet QC wrote: "I am strongly of the opinion that Uber and Uber drivers are acting as unlicensed operators.

"Uber vehicles and drivers continue to present themselves in York and invite potential customers to book their services on their smartphones. Uber encourages and incentivises drivers to do so. The result is that out-of-town private hire drivers and vehicles not meeting York's licensing requirements, are undertaking PHV (private hire vehicle) bookings on the city's streets."

Mr Gouriet has reportedly quoted the Local Government Miscellaneous Provisions Act (1976), sections 46 (1)(d) in his summing up of the situation. This particular section of legislation means that drivers may bring people into an area for which they are not licensed for but is forbidden to then pick up somebody in that same area.

Wendy Loveday, who chairs the York Private Hire Association, says

"We feel that the council should have done more.

“Once the licence was refused they (Uber) should not have been allowed to continue to operate in York.

“The council told us the law didn't allow the company to be banned from York but our expert opinion says that's not the case.

“We want the council to review the situation now in light of what Gerald Gouriet QC, one of the top barristers in the licensing trade says.”

Sources: Minster FM, Taxi Point, York Press

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