Taxi and private hire drivers in York are questioning why Uber drivers licensed with authorities outside of the city are able to carry on working in their area, despite strict lockdown rules announced by central government.
At midnight the Government reintroduced emergency lockdown measures in areas including Bradford, Kirklees and Calderdale in a bid to control the infection rates of COVID-19.
York City Council refused ride-hailing firm Uber a licence to operate, but minicab drivers from surrounding West Yorkshire authorities travel to York looking for work under a taxi and private hire licensing loop-hole known as “cross-border hiring”.
Wendy Loveday, Chairperson of the York Private Hire Association, wrote directly to council leader Keith Aspden urging immediate action.
Loveday wrote: “Will you now do something to stop Uber drivers travelling from West Yorkshire into York and coming into contact with hundreds of York residents/students?
“Will you take any action whatsoever to stop them from bringing the virus into York?
“Or will you continue to ignore the facts, and allow Uber drivers’ behaviour result in York being forced into a local lockdown through no fault of its own residents?”
Ashley Mason, a York City Councillor and Chairperson of the Licensing Committee, wrote on social media: “North Yorkshire Police’s view during lockdown was that they (Uber) were legally able to still work in York during lockdown. I have asked the Chief Constable for her view and information on their powers now.”