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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 7:36 pm 
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Uber's licence to operate in Brighton and Hove has been revoked

Uber's licence to operate in the city has been revoked. The Brighton and Hove City Council licensing panel concluded the operator is not a fit and proper entity to hold such a licence.

Councillors pointed to a 2016 data breach carried out by American hackers as a key reason behind their decision. Uber will appeal. Uber drivers licensed elsewhere will continue to be able to operate in the city.

A council statement said: "The unanimous decision was taken as the members of the panel were not satisfied that Uber Brittania Limited are a ‘fit and proper person’ to hold an operator’s licence under the terms of Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 and the council’s licensing objectives.

"The panel considered all circumstances relating to the application and the factors operating in Brighton & Hove. "This included a number of issues raised by those objecting to the application, which they found to carry very little or no evidential weight. "However, the panel did have significant concerns about the company’s data breach and UBL’s lack of commitment to use only Brighton & Hove licensed drivers in the city. These formed the basis of the decision to not renew the licence."

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 are a fit and proper person to hold an operator’s licence in the city.

“All Brighton & 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 & 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. “We recognise there are strong feelings on this issue and would like to thank all those who took the time to make submissions to the hearing.”

A spokesman for Uber said: "This is a disappointing decision for the thousands of passengers and drivers who rely on our app in Brighton and Hove. We intend to appeal so we can continue serving the city.”

Last Monday a seven-hour meeting of the licensing panel heard that UBER was "a company for the fit and able" in the words of Green Councillor Lizzie Deane. Representatives of the taxi-hailing app defended the firm in the face of allegations it was not a fit and proper entity to hold a licence to operate in Brighton and Hove, at the meeting of the city council panel to review its licence.

Uber promised it would have twenty wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) in its fleet by the time it reaches 100 cars in the city, although spokesmen failed to provide concrete plans for how they would achieve that. Uber currently has 62 drivers licensed by the city but no WAVs. The meeting heard warm praise for Uber from customers and fierce criticism from the taxi trade.

Sunetta Kiarie, 25, a Brighton charity worker told the Hove Town Hall meeting she had always found taking an Uber to be a safe, professional and clean experience. Resident Claire Alcock praised its convenience, real-time tracking and accountability.

But Gerald Gourier QC, speaking for the city's taxi firms, said Uber has operated in Brighton "in such a way as to drive a coach and horses through local licensing controls" since it started operating in October 2016. Brighton and Hove has some of the toughest taxi licensing rules in the country, known as the Blue Book, which include a requirement for cars to have CCTV and a quota for WAVs.

But Mr Gourier said there was "no point" having the Blue Book when Uber allowed cars licensed in other authorities with less stringent rules to operate in the city.

Andy Peters of the GMB union, Mark of the Brighton and Hove private hire association, and Sean Ridley of the Unite union also criticised the practice and the fleet's lack of WAVs. They slammed Uber for its 2016 data breach in which customers' names email addresses and mobile phone numbers were stolen by hackers.

The licensing panel of Councillor Jacqui O'Quinn (Lab), Councillor Lynda Hyde (Con) and Councillor Lizzie Deane (Green), interrogated the speakers. None of the three councillors has the Uber app or has ever hailed an Uber.

Defending his client, Uber barrister Philip Kolvin said the company was not trying was not trying to “skirt round” the city’s regulations but had recently regionalised its business to prevent London-licensed drivers from operating in the city. It has also created a £1,000 incentive scheme to get drivers licensed in Brighton.

Uber drivers have provided lifts to more than 200,000 people in Brighton and Hove since it started operating 19 months ago. At the meeting panel chairwoman Councillor Jacqui O'Quinn said Uber drivers licenced elsewhere would continue to be able to operate legally in the city.

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PostPosted: Tue May 01, 2018 7:43 pm 
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Rejection letter from B&H Council to Uber.

Uber's refusal to re-license letter

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 7:39 pm 
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so if i have uber on my phone app and am in Brighton and want to go to LHR can i still get an uber?

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 7:50 pm 
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wannabeeahack wrote:
so if i have uber on my phone app and am in Brighton and want to go to LHR can i still get an uber?

Yes, but it will cost you double what you would pay if you used a local firm.

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PostPosted: Wed May 02, 2018 10:07 pm 
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Sussex wrote:
wannabeeahack wrote:
so if i have uber on my phone app and am in Brighton and want to go to LHR can i still get an uber?

Yes, but it will cost you double what you would pay if you used a local firm.



i think thats your take on it...


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PostPosted: Thu May 03, 2018 7:28 pm 
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wannabeeahack wrote:

i think thats your take on it...

That's without any surge.

Most B&H firms charge £100-110.

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