Brighton and Hove Council on the south coast of England has turned down Uber’s request to renew its operating licence in the city.
The council says the unanimous decision was taken as the members of the panel were not satisfied that Uber Britannia Ltd are a “fit and proper person: to hold an operator’s licence under the terms of Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and the council’s licensing objectives.
It says the panel had significant concerns about the company’s data breach and UBL’s lack of commitment to use only Brighton and Hove licensed drivers in the city and these formed the basis of the decision to not renew the licence. Brighton follows London and York in revoking an Uber license to operate.
Chair of the licensing panel, Councillor Jackie O’Quinn, said, “When making Hackney Carriage and Private Hire operator licensing decisions, our priority is the safety of residents and visitors and, due to the data breach and the lack of commitment to using drivers licensed here, we were not satisfied that UBL are a fit and proper person to hold an operator’s licence in the city.
“All Brighton & Hove private hire and Hackney Carriage drivers in the city operate under the same licences and guidelines contained in the Blue Book and undergo the same background checks, whichever company they drive for. In the original application in 2015, UBL gave a firm commitment to adhere to the standards set out in the Blue Book and only to use Brighton & Hove licensed drivers. We do not feel the spirit of this commitment has been kept to. In the panel’s view, large numbers of taxis operating in the city that do not meet our Blue Book standards puts the safety of residents and visitors at potential risk.
“We recognise there are strong feelings on this issue and would like to thank all those who took the time to make submissions to the hearing.”
Uber is planning to appeal.