Stronger regulations around taxi licensing and enforcement are needed, Leeds City Council has said as a row broke out over Uber cabs in the country’s capital.
The taxi firm, used by 3.5m people and 40,000 drivers in London, has been refused a new license by Transport for London (TfL) which said it was “not fit and proper” to operate, with Mayor Sadiq Khan insisting that companies must “play by the rules”.
As Uber vows to appeal the decision, backed by more than 140,000 people who have signed an online petition, licensing authorities in Leeds have said they are “monitoring developments”, calling for stricter regulation nationwide.
“Leeds City Council has put in place some of the most challenging policies and conditions in the UK to ensure public and taxi passenger safety, with different regulations in Leeds compared to London which mean the safety and security issues raised by TfL are not applicable in Leeds,” a spokesman said.
“Passenger safety is our priority and Leeds City Council has raised its concern at the increase in numbers of ‘out of district’ private hire vehicles operating in Leeds, which includes Uber vehicles licensed by other councils and licensing authorities.
“As such we are lobbying for a stronger national licensing and enforcement approach to this issue.”
TfL said it took the decision yesterday on the grounds of “public safety and security implications”. But Uber hit back, claiming the move “would show the world that, far from being open, London is closed to innovative companies”.