Brighton and Hove City Council has refused to renew Uber’s licence to operate in the city.
The decision followed a meeting of the authority’s licensing panel, held in public on 23 April, in which it ruled that the ride hailing company was not “fit and proper” to hold a licence under its rules.
The panel claimed that Uber’s data breach and its failure to use only Brighton & Hove licensed drivers in the city were among the reasons for its refusal to renew.
The city considered cancelling Uber’s licence in 2017, following London’s decision to do the same, but eventually renewed it with the promise that it would monitor the progress of the capital’s attempt to ban the company from operating.
Uber has 21 from the date of notification days to appeal the decision. If it does, drivers can continue to operate in the city for the duration of the appeal.
Uber is said to have around 40 drivers operating in the Brighton area, compared to circa 40,000 in London and 50,000 in the UK.
Chair of the licensing panel, councillor Jackie O’Quinn, said: “When making hackney carriage and private hire operator licensing decisions, our priority is the safety of residents and visitors and, due to the data breach and the lack of commitment to using drivers licensed here, we were not satisfied that UBL (Uber Britannia Ltd) are a fit and proper person to hold an operator’s licence in the city.
“All Brighton and Hove private hire and hackney carriage drivers in the city operate under the same licences and guidelines contained in the Blue Book and undergo the same background checks, whichever company they drive for.
“In the original application in 2015, UBL gave a firm commitment to adhere to the standards set out in the Blue Book and only to use Brighton and Hove licensed drivers. We do not feel the spirit of this commitment has been kept to.
“In the panel’s view, large numbers of taxis operating in the city that do not meet our Blue Book standards puts the safety of residents and visitors at potential risk.”