The taxi-hailing app Uber could stop operating in Brighton after the city’s council refused to renew its licence.
Brighton and Hove City Council’s licensing panel said the firm is “not fit and proper”, citing concerns over a data breach in which customers’ personal details were leaked.
Councillors were also concerned about the number of Uber drivers who are not licensed in Brighton but still operate there.
The Silicon Valley firm is already battling a Transport for London decision to strip them of their licence in the capital.
After TfL decided in September 2017 that it would not renew Uber’s licence, Brighton and Hove City Council granted Uber a six-month extension while they monitored the situation.
However, the chair of Brighton’s licensing panel, Jackie O’Quinn, announced on Tuesday that Uber’s licence would not be renewed.
Video: Uber admits it covered up massive customer data breach
She said: “Our priority is the safety of residents and visitors and, due to the data breach and the lack of commitment to using drivers licensed here, we were not satisfied that UBL (Uber Britannia Limited) are a fit and proper person to hold an operator’s licence.”
Uber will appeal against the ruling and has 21 days to do so.
A spokesman for the app said: “This is a disappointing decision for the thousands of passengers and drivers who rely on our app in Brighton and Hove.
“We intend to appeal so we can continue serving the city.”
Matthew Kendall, CEO of British firm Zoom Taxi, which helps private hire companies compete in the GPS driven marketplace, welcomed the decision, saying councillors were “standing up for the well being of the people in their communities”.
“It is better for passengers, drivers and the economy not only to have a proper regulated market but for there to be real competition in the industry.
“Because of rules predominantly going back to 2015 Uber have been allowed to use loopholes that smaller companies cannot to undercut rivals and force them out of business.
“This means that in the long term prices rise, not fall, and the minimum wage becomes the maximum wage.”
Video: ‘Huge concerns’ over Uber hack cover-up
As in London, Uber will be able to operate in Brighton until the outcome of its appeal.
The result of its appeal against TfL will come after a court hearing in June.
Uber’s lawyer Philip Kolvin said the number of issues to be heard has dropped from 25 to 11, after the firm worked to “repair and reform” its business.
The company has made changes to its business model in recent months in response to requests from regulators.
The moves include proactively reporting serious incidents to the police and the introduction of 24/7 telephone support.
Brighton and Hove has become the third council to ban Uber after a York council committee followed London in rejecting its licence application in last December.
Uber launched an appeal against City of York Council’s ruling, only to halt proceedings later.
An Uber spokesman said: “Following recent changes we’ve made in the UK, as well as numerous licence renewals in cities including Sheffield and Cambridge, we have decided to withdraw our appeal in York.
“Rather than take up valuable court time and costs we intend to apply afresh for a new licence in the near future.”
Sheffield, Cambridge, Nottingham and Leicester councils have renewed Uber’s licence.
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The taxi-hailing app tried to cover up a massive data breach in 2016 in which 57 million users’ details were leaked.
It later emerged that the company’s security officer paid off the hackers.