Uber Sheffield ban: City suspends taxi app's licence after company fails to answer concerns

'We hope this administrative error can be quickly resolved so we can continue serving tens of thousands of riders and drivers,' says company

Ride-hailing app has submitted a new application to be able to run minicabs in the city, but the company faces not being able to operate in Sheffield over the Christmas period if it is not processed in time
Ride-hailing app has submitted a new application to be able to run minicabs in the city, but the company faces not being able to operate in Sheffield over the Christmas period if it is not processed in time

Sheffield City Council has suspended Uber's licence to operate in the city from 18 December after the company failed to respond to requests for information about its management.

Uber's existing licence is in the name of an employee who is leaving the company.

The ride-hailing app has already submitted a new application to be able to run minicabs in Sheffield, but the company faces not being able to operate in the city over the Christmas period if it is not processed in time.

A Sheffield City spokesperson said: “Uber’s licence was suspended last Friday after the current licence holder failed to respond to requests, made by our licensing team, about the management of Uber.

“It is legally allowed to operate up to 18th December, and if it chooses to appeal this suspension it can continue to operate until the appeal is heard. If it decides against an appeal the suspension will come into force.

“We received a new application, for a licence to operate taxis in Sheffield, from Uber Britannia Limited, on 18 October 2017 which we are currently processing."

An Uber spokesperson said the company informed the council on 5 October it needed to change the name on its licence.

But the council told the app it could not swap the name on the existing document "as most other councils have done", the spokesperson said.

Instead, Uber was told it needed a new licence, which it applied for on 16 October, the spokesperson said.

"While we are in regular contact with the council, we did not receive the correspondence the council refers to as they send the letters to an incorrect address," the spokesperson added.

"We hope this administrative error can be quickly resolved so we can continue serving tens of thousands of riders and drivers in Sheffield.

"If the new application can't be resolved by 18 December we will of course submit an appeal so we can continue to serve people in Sheffield."

Uber is still fighting a ban in London after it lost its licence there in September.

Transport for London (TfL) criticised the firm's record on reporting criminal offences and carrying out driver background checks.

TfL decided not to renew Uber's London licence after it deemed the firm "unfit" to run a minicab service.

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