A REPORT by a legal expert has claimed Uber drivers are "acting as unlicensed operators" in York.

City of York Council's legal advisers are now looking into the allegation, which was made in a report commissioned by the York Private Hire Association from Gerald Gouriet QC - a barrister who specialises in licensing issues in England and Wales.

The report follows years of complaints by local drivers against the app and its drivers.

Last December, City of York Council refused to renew the operators' licence held by Uber in the city, but the report - which has been sent to the council - said "the refusal appears to have made little or no difference".

Mr Gouriet QC wrote: "I am strongly of the opinion that Uber and Uber drivers are acting as unlicensed operators.

"Uber vehicles and drivers continue to present themselves in York and invite potential customers to book their services on their smartphones. Uber encourages and incentivises drivers to do so. The result is that out-of-town private hire drivers and vehicles not meeting York's licensing requirements, are undertaking PHV (private hire vehicle) bookings on the city's streets."

A spokesperson for City of York Council said: ""Yesterday [November 19] we received a legal opinion from Gerald Gouriet QC on behalf of the taxi trade. It is being considered by our legal advisers."

Uber have been contacted for a comment.

More to follow.