York taxi drivers are set to stage a protest while councillors decide whether to grant Uber a licence to operate in the city.

The demonstration is set to take place ahead of Uber’s application for a private hire licence which is being heard at York Council’s West Offices on Tuesday evening (June 11).

Association Chair Arfan Asif told the Local Democracy Reporting Service the gathering was a show of solidarity from drivers who are concerned about Uber’s re-entry into York.

It comes as the app-based ride hailing firm lodged its application to officially return with at least 91 vehicles following councillors’ refusal to renew its licence in 2017.

The refusal followed a significant data breach and 155 complaints against the firm in the year leading up to the decision in December 2017.

Uber drivers licensed outside of York can currently legally travel in to pick up and drop off customers.

But the granting of the company’s application would allow it to recruit York-based drivers and it is also aiming to open offices at Clifton Moor, if it gets planning approval.

Uber stated in its application that it vets drivers who apply to work for the company and trips are monitored and recorded to keep passengers safe.

The company added it also uses technology to plan pick ups around traffic restrictions and it maintains a 24-hour helpline which councils can contact with safeguarding concerns.

But York Taxi Association’s Chair Mr Asif said out-of-town Uber drivers who did not know about local road rules and had previously caused havoc.

He added York private hire drivers were also wary of Uber’s return following instances of some of their taxis plying for trade, contrary to licensing rules.

A council report stated Uber had acted as a witness to help prosecute drivers who were caught plying for trade in two cases.

Mr Asif said: “Nobody can stop them from getting a licence if they abide by the rules.

“But up to now Uber have flooded the market with drivers who don’t know how the traffic system of the area works.

“And it’s getting harder for the taxi drivers here to make a living.”

The application is set to go before the council’s Licensing and Regulatory Committee.