What does the Uber ruling mean for Edinburgh and Glasgow?

Councils have dismissed the need for a review of Uber's operations in Scotland. Picture: Carl Court/Getty Images
Councils have dismissed the need for a review of Uber's operations in Scotland. Picture: Carl Court/Getty Images
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Scottish councils have ruled out a review into the operational licence of controversial private hire firm Uber, despite transport bosses in London announcing the taxi-hailing app would not have its permission to work in the city renewed when it expires at the end of the month.

Transport for London (TfL) said the minicab app was “not fit and proper” to operate in the city due to concerns which have “public safety and security implications”.

The ruling means Uber drivers will be banned from working in the city after September 30, pending an appeal.

However, local authorities in Glasgow and Edinburgh both dismissed the need for 
an investigation before licences were due for renewal in 2019, with Glasgow City council confirming “no complaints” had been received “in respect of the operation of Uber’s Booking Office Licence”.

Aberdeen City Council were unable to comment as Uber’s application to operate in the city had only recently been received.

TfL cited a number of incidents as their reasons for denying the licence, including its approach to reporting serious criminal offences and how it carries out background checks on its drivers.

Mark Greenhalgh, Chairman of the Edinburgh Private Hire Drivers Association said Uber were unlikely to fall foul of the rules in Scotland, adding: “I think they have effectively used a sledgehammer to crack a nut by revoking Uber’s London licence.”

“In Scotland, I think it’s different because there’s an understanding of the rules and Uber are compliant with them, but in London, it seems to be there was no kind of regulation in place, so it seems a little harsh.

“Obviously passenger safety should be taken extremely seriously, but I also feel sorry for the drivers, some of whom will have just been told they will be out of a job in just over a week”.

Tony Kenmuir, chairman of Central Taxis, agreed the ruling would have little impact north of the border, adding: “Personally I can’t see there being a review any time soon, but we will certainly be keeping an eye on how things progress.”