York’s Private Hire Association chair has claimed that the police will be engaging with Uber drivers and telling them to leave the city, but there are some signs that nothing will be changing for now.
Uber has not held a licence in York since December 2017, but drivers licensed elsewhere in Yorkshire, including in Leeds and Bradford, have continued to operate in the city through what Uber describes as “cross-border working.”
Speaking to the City of York Council Licensing and Regulatory Committee on Tuesday evening, Wendy Loveday, Chair of York’s Private Hire Association, claimed that North Yorkshire Police had received new advice telling them that this practice was illegal.
She said that, as early as next week, police officers will be speaking to drivers and telling them to leave the city immediately, as first reported by YorkMix on Monday.
In a statement, a spokesperson for North Yorkshire Police said that “taxi licensing and licensing enforcement sits with local authorities rather than the police.”
“As part of our work to support City of York Council and our local communities, our officers will engage with Uber drivers if they are seen in the city. Any breaches will then be dealt with appropriately.”
In Tuesday’s Committee meeting, Matt Boxall, York Trading Standards Manager, said that he had been told by the police that they would be engaging with drivers seen “hanging around during lockdown” instead of working, in breach of Covid rules, and all this would mean is that not working drivers would be told to go home, as any other driver or person would.
He said that “the police’s position is that whether Uber can operate here is a matter for the Council. We have gone through this in detail on a number of occasions. They can, and nothing has changed.”
Speaking to York Vision, an Uber spokesperson responded to the claims, saying that “cross-border driving is something the law allows for and is common in private hire journeys across England and Wales.”
“Our dedicated Law Enforcement Liaison team has reached out to North Yorkshire Police to discuss this matter further.”