Manchester

Manchester City Council to hold emergency Uber meeting

A taxi sign on top of a car
Image caption Manchester City Council has raised concerns about taxis licensed by other councils

Manchester City Council has called an emergency meeting with Uber over concerns about safety and licensing.

It has raised concerns about taxis licensed in Sefton and Wolverhampton.

Councillor Rabnawaz Akbar, who sits on the licensing committee, said Uber was undermining licensing standards in Manchester because of the number of its drivers licensed by other authorities.

Sefton said its licensed drivers were of "high quality" and Wolverhampton said Uber was "fit and proper".

In a statement, Uber said: "We work closely with licensing authorities across the country and want to reassure all councils that we have robust processes in place."

Uber's licence in Manchester expires on 31 July 2021.

Its licences to operate in Birmingham and Newcastle-upon-Tyne are due to expire next year and in 2021 respectively.

Both will review how the company operates.

Mandatory vetting

Earlier this week, Transport for London (TfL) decided not to renew Uber's licence in the capital after discovering that 14,000 fraudulent trips occurred on the company's app.

These happened when unlicensed drivers were able to use legitimate drivers' Uber accounts.

Manchester City Council's licensing requirements include:

  • Private vehicles can be no more than three years old when their owners apply for a licence
  • Mandatory vetting of drivers in the form of a DBS certificate that is checked quarterly
  • Regular patrols by council officers to ensure drivers comply with its licence

However, other councils have different rules in place.

Under the 2015 Deregulation Act, drivers are allowed to work outside the area for which they are licensed.

A spokesperson for Sefton Council added: "We are confident that our application process ensures that all drivers and vehicles meet high standards and as long as each application meets all the relevant checks and tests for drivers and vehicles, a licence should be approved."

Chris Howell, City of Wolverhampton Council's licensing manager, said: "We believe that Uber is fit and proper to hold its private hire operator's licence issued by City of Wolverhampton Council."