More than 100 taxis staged a protest calling for Lewes Council to impose stricter regulations against Uber drivers applying for private hire licences.

The demonstration took place on Monday starting at 12.30pm where cabbies from various Brighton taxi companies participated in slow convoy protest.

Taxi drivers drove around from Lewes High Street, to the council, the train station, and back to the High Street.

George Beresford, the representative for Independent Taxi Drivers in Brighton, organised the demonstration and demanded Lewes Council to limit the amount of private hire licences being given out.

He said drivers from outside of Sussex have been applying for these licences to enable them to operate their business in Brighton.

Mr Beresford, who has worked as a cabbie for 18 years, argued the influx of applications from drivers outside of the county contributes to the congestion problems in the city.

He said: “The protest was a raging success, we had more than 100 taxi drivers turning up to the demonstration and we had many support from residents.

“When the Deregulation Act 2015 was in effect it allows drivers to work across different local authorities.

“We have many drivers in other counties working here. They come from places like Suffolk, York and Leeds applying for licences to work in Brighton.

“We are not talking about the competition it poses for us, but the more drivers we have in Brighton the more congestion it it brings to our roads.

“I’ve worked as a taxi driver for 18 years and I know Brighton Council imposes heavy regulations on drivers when they apply for private hire licences.

We have to undergo DBS testing, medical tests, driving tests, customer service and disability awareness course.

“However, Lewes Council doesn’t have many criteria in place. So we are calling for more rigorous application process to be in place and to limit the amount of licences being given.”

Mr Beresford said stricter application processes will not only protect customers, but it will also curb the number of drivers operating in Brighton.

Lewes Council commented licences are granted to applicants as long as they are a “fit and proper” person.

A spokesman said: “If Lewes Council receives an application for a Private Hire Licence we have a duty to process the application. A licence will be granted if the driver is a fit and proper person. We are not able to refuse a licence on the basis that there are too many drivers or that they might operate outside our geographical area, in particular Brighton.

“The council understands the frustration this causes the taxi trade, but we are obliged to work within the legislative framework.”

Uber has been contacted for a comment however they were unable to respond before the paper went to print.