Mobile app taxi firm to arrive in Wakefield

Tom Elvidge of Uber
Tom Elvidge of Uber

A controversial taxi service which uses mobile phone apps to book cars is coming to Wakefield.

Uber has successfully applied for a private hire operator’s licence from Wakefield Council.

Wakefield is the fifth British city to get the new services, which uses a smartphone app to connect passengers and drivers, cutting out the use of taxi companies.

Taxi drivers around the UK have voiced concerns over the regulation of the app, which they say is effectively a meter, which only black cabs are entitled to use.

No cash changes hands when taxis are booked through Uber, with charges automatically processed through the passenger’s card details.

Last June, a protest was held by cabbies in London bringing roads to a standstill and Leeds taxi drivers also protested last October at the arrival of Uber in the city.

Tom Elvidge, Uber’s general manager in Yorkshire, said 10,000 people in Wakefield had opened the app since it launched in Leeds.

He said: “We have seen really strong take-up in the UK generally.”

A Wakefield Council spokeswoman said: “Uber have applied for, and been granted, a private hire operator licence.”

The service has also started in Manchester and Birmingham.