Taxi rep calls on Sheffield to consider Uber ban after London ruling

Sheffield taxi driver and GMB rep Ibrar Hussain
Sheffield taxi driver and GMB rep Ibrar Hussain
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A taxi drivers' union in Sheffield has called on Sheffield to follow London's lead and consider banning Uber.

Transport for London today announced the company would not be issued with a new licence as it was 'not fit and proper' to operate in the capital.

The firm, which enables users to book a ride via their phone, has vowed to appeal the decision.

Sheffield taxi driver Ibrar Hussain, who is branch secretary for the GMB union's taxi division, welcomed Transport for London's decision.

He urged Sheffield Council to follow suit and consider banning Uber from operating within the city.

"Transport for London has made the right decision. Anyone with a private operator's licence has to abide by the regulations and ensure they are putting public safety first," he said.

"Sheffield Council should look again at Uber's licence to operate in the city because the issues here are the same as those in London.

"I don't mind competition but Uber needs to be regulated properly like all other private hire companies."

TfL said it took the decision not to renew Uber's licence on the grounds of 'public safety and security implications'.

Uber's critics claim it causes gridlocked roads and does too little to regulate its drivers.

But the firm said TfL and London mayor Sadiq Khan, who supported the ruling, had 'caved in to a small number of people who want to restrict consumer choice'.

Mr Hussain has previously demanded drivers be required to obtain their taxi licences in the region where they operate, after it emerged nearly 180 cabbies in Sheffield were using licences issued in London.

"The problem is that Uber have drivers working in Sheffield who did not get their taxi licences here," he said.

"Why are taxi drivers who are living and working in Sheffield licensed by authorities elsewhere?

"If a driver's refused a licence in one area, they can go across the border and apply again. It's taking the mickey out of the system."

Uber has been operating in Sheffield since June 2015.

The Star has contacted Sheffield Council and is awaiting a response.

We have also contacted Uber, which has yet to reply.