Uber granted licence to operate in Aberdeen for first time

The application was granted by the city council's licensing committee.

Uber has been granted a license to operate in Aberdeen after the private hire company’s license was approved by the city council.

The global firm put the brakes on its last effort to operate in the Granite City in 2019, following controversy surrounding objections to the application.

But earlier this year, Uber confirmed to STV News that there are “ongoing discussions with city officials” about applying for a new license in Aberdeen.

It came before the council’s licensing committee, with a number of representations of both support and objection, ahead of the application being granted.

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired said he was “delighted that Uber’s application to open a booking office in the Granite City has now been approved”.

Mr Watson added: “Aberdeen Inspired brought Uber to the table in Aberdeen after we recognised there was a crying need to address serious issues with taxi provision in the city, especially around late nights at the weekend.

“This need wasn’t something Aberdeen Inspired simply plucked out of thin air. Our levy payers, partners and the wider public, came to us with a litany of complaints and issues they had faced with a severe lack of taxis especially at night on weekends.

“Their fears – and ours – were simple and direct:

“Concerns over safety as people, especially the vulnerable, try to make their way home alone on foot in the small hours.

“The impact on the city’s economy, especially at night time, as people openly say they will not come into the city centre for fear they can’t get home safely at the end of their night out.

“The detrimental effect on Aberdeen’s reputation as visitors struggle to get where they need to be – including transport hubs – because no taxis are available.

“We respect the taxi trade in Aberdeen, their dedication and hard work and their commitment to the city. That is never in doubt.

“But it has become obvious the current situation isn’t meeting the needs of transport provision in Aberdeen and, worse, is hurting the city as a result.

“We do not expect Uber to be a magic wand that will fix all of these woes overnight.

“However, bringing more taxis and drivers onto the streets of Aberdeen must be part of the solution and that is the prospect Uber offers.

“Giving permission for Uber to operate in Aberdeen is not the end of the story over taxi provision. It is merely the start of a conversation with all parties and stakeholders to ensure our city and its people have the taxi service everyone wants and needs.”

Uber already operates in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Uber has been contacted for comment.

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