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Uber gets operating licence in York amidst trade protests Published Date: 14/06/2024

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

It was reported that 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 report on the application to City of York Council's licensing committee said "Granting the licence will enable Uber to recruit York licensed drivers and vehicles on to their platform for passengers in York, which they cannot currently do."

Speaking at the protest, it is reported that Muhammed Sulaman, of York Taxi Association (YTA), said:

"We are protesting because Uber are taking our jobs away. We're struggling a lot, so we're asking the council to protect us."

YTA's vice-chair, Shafqat Ali, added:

"It's going to affect the taxi and private hire trade in York. It's already challenging enough to our livelihood."

Some of the taxi and private hire drivers in York are represented by the GMB Union. Regional rep for the GMB, and chair of YTA, Arfan Asif was at the council's offices and said:

"It's just a show of solidarity. The issue is simple, York is a separate entity to the rest of the county so keep it separate."

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

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.