UBER has dropped its legal fight over a licence to operate in York.

The ride-hailing app was refused a licence by City of York councillors in December, but launched an appeal less than a month later.

The case was due before the courts later this month, but the company announced this afternoon it was dropping its appeal.

A 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."

The decision means that York-licensed private hire drivers won't be able to use Uber - but the brand will not disappear from the streets altogether as drivers licensed in others areas can still come into York to work.

According to the company, fewer than 10 York-licensed drivers were actually active on the app.

Uber's spokesman has also confirmed that while it has changed its rules to stop drivers working outside the region in which they are registered, drivers from within Yorkshire can still come into the city.

Writing on its Facebook page, the York Private Hire Group called the decision a "massive win" which showed the city council's gambling, regulatory and licensing committee has been right to turn down the licence.

A spokesperson for City of York Council said: “We are aware of the decision by Uber Britannia Limited to withdraw their appeal. This will mean that Uber’s operating office in York is no longer licensed and the few private hire drivers working for them are currently unable to operate.”

However the council spokesman also confirmed that Uber drivers from elsewhere are legally allowed to operate in York.

The York-licensed drivers working on Uber will have to get a job with a licensed operator in the city, or pass licensing rules with another local authority, to be able to keep working.