Taxi drivers have urged the council to act over Uber drivers working in York.
The licensing committee discussed the legal position around Uber’s operations in the city at a meeting on Monday (11 February).
Mike Palmer, secretary of York Private Hire Association, told councillors at the meeting:
The cab trade you regulate are being sidelined to favour a toxic company which is out to make our business an unqualified, minimum-wage, unregulated mess.
Our public should be able to get into a well-maintained car which is clean and tidy, driven by a well-mannered and safe driver who knows the routes to take in York.
This should be a matter of pride. Uber need banishing from our city.
In December 2017 City of York Council voted not to renew Uber’s licence in York. But Uber drivers licensed elsewhere still operate in the city.
The council’s current position means that if a private hire vehicle’s three licences – operator, vehicle and driver – have all been issued by the same authority then the driver can undertake journeys anywhere in the country, regardless of when the fare starts or ends.
But York taxi bosses commissioned a legal opinion from Gerald Gouriet QC – a barrister who specialises in licensing issues in England and Wales – which argues that out-of-town vehicles and their drivers are illegally operating in York.
Council officers said it is important to stress that this alternative view has not been tested in the courts and they have sought independent legal guidance.
The committee is expected to receive the legal advice at the end of this week and will discuss it at a meeting in March.