Global taxi giant Uber has withdrawn from the fight to return to York – for now at least.

In December York councillors voted against renewing its licence. Uber then launched an appeal, but today (Wednesday) decided to halt proceedings.

However, that does not mean the firm has given up the battle. A spokesman for Uber said:

Following recent changes we’ve made in the UK, as well as numerous licence renewals in cities including Sheffield and Cambridge, we have decided to withdraw our appeal in York.

Rather than take up valuable court time and costs we intend to apply afresh for a new licence in the near future.

Chair of the York Private Hire Association Wendy Loveday welcomed the news.

She said: “This is a massive win for the taxi trade and for the people of York.

“It shows that the gambling, licensing & regulatory committee of City of York Council were absolutely right to deny the renewal of their private hire licence.

“This is the win we have been working towards.”

Ban was a UK first

An Uber car in York taxi protest. Photograph: Richard McDougall

Councillors refused the Uber licence on two grounds:

  1. the fact that Uber had been the subject of a massive data breach which affected 2.7 million UK users of its app
  2. the number of complaints against Uber in York.

That made York the first authority to flat out deny Uber a renewal.

Uber launched an appeal against the ruling in the New Year. At that time they said: “We want to continue providing more choice and competition for both consumers and licensed drivers in the city.”

Their decision to abandon the appeal means that York will not licence Uber drivers to operate in the city.

But it won’t stop Uber drivers licensed by other authorities from working in York.

A post on the York Private Hire Facebook group said this could have repercussions further afield. “Not fit and proper in York means they aren’t fit and proper anywhere so this is the win we have been working for.

“Congratulations to everyone who helped in achieving this.”