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Taxi industry critical over council's Uber decision


A man using an Uber app on his mobile phone

UBER has been granted permission to operate in Brighton and Hove for a further six months.

Brighton and Hove City Council announced the decision yesterday afternoon following Tuesday’s behindclosed-doors meeting.

In a statement, the city council said the decision on the length of the extension was taken to allow it to monitor the outcome of the Transport for London Uber decision and consider whether any of the information arising from the case had direct implications for the operation here

A council spokeswoman said: “While there was no evidence to suggest that public safety had been compromised, there are a number of concerns, and Uber are working with the council to address these and reassure residents and visitors about their safety.

“Under national law, licensed drivers can operate anywhere in the country, so drivers licensed elsewhere are allowed to operate in the city.

“Many authorities have fewer conditions attached to their licensing than is the case here.”

The spokeswoman added that the authority was working with Uber to ensure safety standards were maintained and to address the challenges brought about by technological changes.

She added: “A decision on the process to look at the licence at the end of this six month period will be taken in the new year.”

John Streeter, vice chairman of Brighton and Hove Streamline, criticised the decision, adding: “The council should have had the courage to follow the line of TFL and revoke the licence immediately and by taking the action they have chosen, all they have done is kick the can down the road for a further six months.”

He said Uber had still not addressed a number of issues including the pledge to only use drivers and vehicles licensed by the city council.

The GMB said it was “deeply disappointed” by the decision.

Justin Bowden, GMB national secretary, said: “The council has failed to act within their regulatory responsibilities and we will be taking legal action in respect of this decision.”

Source: The Argus