A Freedom of Information (FOI) request has shown that four in five complaints about Uber in York were made by the city’s taxi drivers.
The City of York council’s decision to refuse Uber a licence to operate in December was based mostly on those complaints along with the 2016 data breach which affected 2.7m British users and drivers was also an issue.
The FOI request has revealed that of the 155 complaints the Council received about the company since January, 83.2 per cent were made by the taxi trade.
Minster FM reports that the information has raised concerns over the City of York Council’s gambling, licensing and regulatory committee decision not to renew the licence on 12 December.
Seven councillors voted against renewing the licence and three voted in favour. Two abstained.
Uber has now submitted an appeal to the York Magistrates’ Court; it will continue operating while appeals are pending.
An Uber spokesperson told Minster FM: “These are really interesting figures since these complaints were one of the key reasons cited for last month’s licence decision. We would like to meet with York City Council to discuss and address any concerns that remain.
“We want to continue providing more choice and competition for both consumers and licensed drivers in the city.”
York Council’s decision to strip Uber of its licence followed the same decision made by London in September. Sheffield City Council also banned Uber after it failed to respond to correspondence from local officials, but the suspension has since been overturned.
A City of York Council spokesperson said: “The application by Uber Britannia Ltd to renew its private hire operator’s licence in York was considered by City of York Council’s Gambling, Licensing and Regulatory Committee on 12 December 2017.”
As part of the decision session, the committee heard that between 21 December 2016 and 22 November 2017, the council received 155 complaints relating to Uber vehicles and/or drivers and 141 complaints relating to other vehicles and/or drivers.
Depending on the nature of the complaints, they are generally dealt with by the licensing authority. Four complaints were against York-licensed Uber drivers.
Applying the legislation, the committee decided to refuse the application having concerns about a data breach currently under investigation and the number of complaints received.
“We always welcome the opportunity to work with the business community to the benefit of our residents.
“As a regulator we are also bound by legal processes and to ensure regulations are applied fairly, impartially and transparently.”
York Magistrates’ Court has confirmed that an appeal has been lodged by Uber Britannia Limited. The court has set an initial hearing date of 30 January at 2pm when a timetable to submit evidence will be established ahead of a full hearing date.
Uber’s operator’s licence in York will remain in place until the outcome of the appeal is known