Reuters

LONDON (Reuters) - The British university city of Cambridge extended Uber's operating license for five years on Monday in a boost to the taxi app which is battling to keep its cars on the road in London, its most important European market. [nL8N1OB2GY]

 

The decision comes a week after the northern English city of York refused to renew the Silicon Valley's license, citing a data breach and a number of complaints, in a ruling the app has until Jan. 5 to appeal.

 

On Monday, local officials in Cambridge, eastern England, said the U.S. firm, valued at around $70 billion, will be able to keep operating for a further five years.

 

"We consider Uber to be a fit and proper operator," said Councillor Gerri Bird, the chairwoman of Cambridge city council's licensing committee.

 

In a statement, Uber's Head of Cities for the UK Fred Jones welcomed the move:

 

"We're delighted people in Cambridge can continue to use Uber," he said. "For both licensed drivers and passengers in the area, the app brings more choice and control."

Uber is fighting to keep operating in London where the city's regulator said in September it was "not fit and proper" and stripped it of its license.

The company is appealing the decision and its cars can remain on the streets of the British capital city until an appeals process is exhausted, which could take years.

(Reporting by Costas Pitas, editing by James Davey and Kate Holton)