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PostPosted: Mon Oct 16, 2017 7:34 pm 
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Uber responds over taxi firm's U-turn against operating in these three North East areas

Uber abandoned plans to expand into three areas in the North East after deciding the licenses weren’t needed, it has emerged. It was reported in the Sunday Times that the taxi-app giant ditched plans to expand into nine different towns and cities including Gateshead , North Tyneside and South Tyneside.

Newcastle and Sunderland are the only local authorities in the North East where Uber has private hire operator licenses. It has emerged Uber pulled its application to operate in South Shields earlier this year and last year pulled out of plans to expand into Gateshead and North Tyneside . A spokesperson for South Tyneside Council said it would be “inappropriate” to disclose Uber’s reasons for withdrawing its application.

It has been reported that, despite months of discussions with authorities, Uber pulled out after being quizzed on its operating model. The firm denied this, saying: “Uber has been granted more than 80 licences by councils who have scrutinised how we operate. “On rare occasions we’ve not pursued applications as proposed conditions didn’t fit with how our app works “We get asked the Local Government Association’s questions in other regions - and answer them in order to get licensed.”

In relation to the three withdrawn applications in the North East, a spokesperson said: “There was lots of back and forth for over a year, and eventually, we decided the licenses weren’t needed.” Uber paid £3,000 for it’s licence in 2012 but could face a £3m bill if TfL pushes ahead with new licensing plans. In Newcastle, the firm paid £1,400 for a five-year licence which will be in place until February 2021, and all of the app’s 550 drivers are also required to have a private hire licence. Newcastle City Council said the firm faced the same level of scrutiny as any other private hire taxi firm hoping to operate in the city.

When Uber lost it’s London licence Nick Kemp, cabinet member for neighbourhoods and regulatory services at Newcastle City Council , outlined the local authority’s position. He said: “All applicants and licensees of private hire operator licences in Newcastle are subject to enhanced DBS checks, induction interviews and all drivers are required to complete a mandatory Safeguarding Vulnerable Passenger Course, in partnership with Northumbria Police.

“The safety of people who live and work or visit our city is paramount and we continue to conduct stringent background checks to ensure our private and hire and taxi fleet are safe, and this is backed by a rigorous enforcement programme.”

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 4:12 am 
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Suspect journalists, politicians and members of the public reading this will think Uber are retreating from these areas, but it's probably more about just finding the council with the most convenient licensing regime and working from there? :-k


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:18 am 
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StuartW wrote:
Suspect journalists, politicians and members of the public reading this will think Uber are retreating from these areas, but it's probably more about just finding the council with the most convenient licensing regime and working from there? :-k

The wording from UBER "we don't need them" would suggest to me that they intend to use their existing licenses and use vehicles and drivers from those areas.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 9:36 am 
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Uber’s application for an operators license in Hull has been “delayed” (by Uber)

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:07 pm 
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grandad wrote:
StuartW wrote:
Suspect journalists, politicians and members of the public reading this will think Uber are retreating from these areas, but it's probably more about just finding the council with the most convenient licensing regime and working from there? :-k

The wording from UBER "we don't need them" would suggest to me that they intend to use their existing licenses and use vehicles and drivers from those areas.


They did not pursue their application because they could not answer the questions that were being asked,Newcastle did not ask these questions that the other Councils did,who has the most rigorous licensing regime,not Newcastle.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:44 pm 
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I'm grateful for the person who pointed me in the right direction.

It appears these are the questions Uber choose not to answer, or possibly didn't answer sufficiently.

http://my.northtyneside.gov.uk/sites/de ... 708054.pdf

Because of the way the FoI was sent in the questions don't flow, and some questions might appear out of date, but generally these are good questions, and they are the type of questions that all councils should be asking Uber, both for initial applications and renewals.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 1:46 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Suspect journalists, politicians and members of the public reading this will think Uber are retreating from these areas, but it's probably more about just finding the council with the most convenient licensing regime and working from there? :-k

Possibly, but then they wont be able to use vehicles licensed in those areas.

That's what appears to have happened in Reading, and a most fascinating (for us anoraks) set of court hearings are ahead of us.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 2:54 pm 
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It appear the LGA is behind those questions.

http://uk.businessinsider.com/uber-uk-e ... ?r=US&IR=T

Would be nice to see the answers.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 3:53 pm 
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To provide answers and be refused a licence would establish that the operation of the app does not comply with PH legislation.
Would force 80 Councils to reconsider. Even with revenue loss.

Better to duck and dive to ‘lobby’ (cough) for change in legislation.

Meantime take advantage of the flawed xborder booking laws that was bought/ lobbied for previously.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 5:18 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
It appear the LGA is behind those questions.

http://uk.businessinsider.com/uber-uk-e ... ?r=US&IR=T

Would be nice to see the answers.



The LGA got the questions from the North East Authorities who would not license Uber.
The Applications were withdrawn well over a year ago.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 6:18 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
StuartW wrote:
Suspect journalists, politicians and members of the public reading this will think Uber are retreating from these areas, but it's probably more about just finding the council with the most convenient licensing regime and working from there? :-k

Possibly, but then they wont be able to use vehicles licensed in those areas.

That's what appears to have happened in Reading, and a most fascinating (for us anoraks) set of court hearings are ahead of us.


But won't they be able to effectively use any car from anywhere, as per TfL-licensed PHVs being used in places like Birmingham and Brighton? And that's the end result of the Deregulation Act thingy?

Or are you saying that if the Reading scenario was correctly prosecuted then the TfL vehicles in Birmingham and Brighton could be prosecuted too?

Interesting that the Reading case used the words 'plying for hire', which would suggest that it has nothing to do with PHVs doing pre-booked jobs? So if Uber drivers simply accepting jobs via the app then they can effectively use any licensed PHVs anywhere?

Are the Reading prosecutions being appealed?


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 7:51 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Sussex wrote:
StuartW wrote:
Suspect journalists, politicians and members of the public reading this will think Uber are retreating from these areas, but it's probably more about just finding the council with the most convenient licensing regime and working from there? :-k

Possibly, but then they wont be able to use vehicles licensed in those areas.

That's what appears to have happened in Reading, and a most fascinating (for us anoraks) set of court hearings are ahead of us.


But won't they be able to effectively use any car from anywhere, as per TfL-licensed PHVs being used in places like Birmingham and Brighton? And that's the end result of the Deregulation Act thingy?

Or are you saying that if the Reading scenario was correctly prosecuted then the TfL vehicles in Birmingham and Brighton could be prosecuted too?

Interesting that the Reading case used the words 'plying for hire', which would suggest that it has nothing to do with PHVs doing pre-booked jobs? So if Uber drivers simply accepting jobs via the app then they can effectively use any licensed PHVs anywhere?

Are the Reading prosecutions being appealed?


When a Uber driver accepts a fare off the app they are "plying for hire".This has already been admitted by the company and all L/A s should be enforcing the legislation with regards to this matter.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:07 pm 
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heathcote wrote:
StuartW wrote:
Sussex wrote:
StuartW wrote:
Suspect journalists, politicians and members of the public reading this will think Uber are retreating from these areas, but it's probably more about just finding the council with the most convenient licensing regime and working from there? :-k

Possibly, but then they wont be able to use vehicles licensed in those areas.

That's what appears to have happened in Reading, and a most fascinating (for us anoraks) set of court hearings are ahead of us.


But won't they be able to effectively use any car from anywhere, as per TfL-licensed PHVs being used in places like Birmingham and Brighton? And that's the end result of the Deregulation Act thingy?

Or are you saying that if the Reading scenario was correctly prosecuted then the TfL vehicles in Birmingham and Brighton could be prosecuted too?

Interesting that the Reading case used the words 'plying for hire', which would suggest that it has nothing to do with PHVs doing pre-booked jobs? So if Uber drivers simply accepting jobs via the app then they can effectively use any licensed PHVs anywhere?

Are the Reading prosecutions being appealed?


When a Uber driver accepts a fare off the app they are "plying for hire".This has already been admitted by the company and all L/A s should be enforcing the legislation with regards to this matter.

Can you point me in the right direction to where Uber have admitted that when an Uber driver accepts a fare off the app they are plying for hire. Please.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:34 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
But won't they be able to effectively use any car from anywhere, as per TfL-licensed PHVs being used in places like Birmingham and Brighton? And that's the end result of the Deregulation Act thingy?

Correct, but it would still make sense to Uber to have and use both. Local and non local.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 17, 2017 8:35 pm 
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StuartW wrote:
Or are you saying that if the Reading scenario was correctly prosecuted then the TfL vehicles in Birmingham and Brighton could be prosecuted too?

Only in areas where Uber don't have an operator's license.

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