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UBER RETURNS: York Council grants licence after six-year hiatus

Updated: Jun 13

The City of York Council's licensing committee has approved Uber’s application to operate private hire cars, ending a six-year hiatus.

The decision, made on Tuesday by the Licensing & Regulatory Committee, allows Uber to establish a new base at Tower Court, Clifton Moor. This move falls under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976, which requires the council to grant a licence unless the applicant is unfit or disqualified.

The licence permits Uber to run a 24-hour service, processing bookings exclusively through their app.

Uber’s previous licence was revoked in December 2017 following a major data breach and a rise in complaints regarding driver conduct. Despite this, Uber continued operating in York by employing the “triple licensing rule”. This rule allows drivers and vehicles licensed in other jurisdictions to operate in the city, leading to criticism over the behaviour of out-of-town drivers.

Over the past year, York’s taxi Licensing team received 31 complaints against Uber, which were classified as ‘accepted’ and likely substantiated. Issues ranged from Uber drivers allegedly using taxi ranks, poor driving standards, to one case of a driver refusing to carry a guide dog. The complaints were mostly about driver behaviour rather than the company’s operations.

Uber’s application included detailed plans to comply with local safety and operational standards, aligning with York’s taxi licensing policy, which is currently under review. Uber has pledged to work closely with local authorities, offering a 24/7 emergency contact line and enhancing safety measures through their app.


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