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Uber wins appeal over Brighton licence

From BBC News

Uber has won an appeal against Brighton & Hove City Council’s decision to strip the minicab app of its licence.

The council confirmed it had lost the case and said it was disappointed in the Brighton Magistrates’ Court ruling.

Licensing panel chairwoman Jackie O’Quinn said the council had been concerned Uber had not kept to its standards but the court felt Uber met national legislation requirements.

*“When making licensing decisions, our priority is the safety of residents and visitors, and that’s why we set a high level of conditions. 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.

“Part of our decision not to renew was due to concerns that UBL had not kept to the spirit of the commitment it made to keep to our standards and only use Brighton and Hove licensed drivers. The court felt that Uber met the requirements under national legislation.

“UBL’s operating model is a challenge to local licensing conditions and the current licensing regulations. We have raised concerns that the legislation has not kept pace with the changing nature of the licensed trade with central government.”

Uber said it was “pleased” with the decision.

The company had operated in the city while the appeal was determined and can now continue under its current licence which will run for five years.

The licensing panel had turned down a renewal application after “significant concerns” about a data breach by the car hailing app in 2016.

It was also concerned about Uber’s lack of commitment to use only Brighton & Hove licensed drivers in the city.

An Uber spokesman said:

“We are pleased to see the district judge in Brighton come to the same conclusion as the 30 other councils that have granted or renewed Uber’s licence since September 2017, namely that Uber is a fit and proper operator.

“We are proud of the progress we have made and we want to continue to be a partner to the cities we serve.”


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