Uber loses its operating licence in another city in the UK

Uber has had its operating licence suspended in Sheffield following a failure by the ride-hailing company to respond to requests about the firm's management.
Uber has had its operating licence suspended in Sheffield following a failure by the ride-hailing company to respond to requests about the firm's management.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (BLOOMBERG) - Uber Technologies has had its operating licence suspended in Sheffield, the fourth-largest city in England.

The local council said the suspension followed a failure by the ride-hailing company to respond to requests about the firm's management, and that it cannot provide services in the city after Dec 18.

"If it chooses to appeal this suspension it can continue to operate until the appeal is heard," Sheffield city council officials said in a statement. "If it decides against an appeal the suspension will come into force."

Sheffield's ruling follows a similar decision made by London's transport regulator, which proposed Uber be banned from the capital because of safety concerns.

The UK is Uber's largest European hub and its appeal against Transport for London's decision to revoke its licence is set to be held on Dec 11.

Uber said it informed the council on Oct 5 that the named individual on its licence needed to be changed as that person was leaving the company, but that the council said it could not change the name and instead the San Francisco-based company would need to apply for a new licence.

"While we are in regular contact with the council, we did not receive the correspondence the council refers to as they sent the letters to an incorrect address," an Uber spokesman said.

Sheffield is a major city in the north of England, fourth in size after London, Manchester and Birmingham.

Historically an industrial powerhouse noted for its steel manufacturing, the city is now becoming a bigger player in digital media, technology and the arts.

One of its most important successes is the Internet service provider PlusNet, which was acquired in 2006 by BT Group for £66.7 million (S$122 million) and remains a major player in the broadband industry of northern England.

Uber said if it cannot resolve the issue by the Dec 18 deadline, it will appeal the decision to keep operating in the city.