South East Wales

Taxi app Uber to launch in Cardiff on Friday

Using the Uber app Image copyright Getty Images

Taxi-hailing app Uber is to launch in Cardiff this Friday.

It will be the first time Uber, which connects passengers with drivers via a smartphone app, has operated in Wales.

Cardiff council granted the company an operator's licence in January.

It currently has drivers in 15 UK locations, including Belfast, Glasgow, Bristol, Manchester and London.

Unions have accused Uber of driving down fares and exploiting drivers.

An Uber spokesman said a journey from Central Station to Cathays will cost about £4.70.

They added: "All drivers using the Uber app in the UK are licensed for private hire by the local authority and have met the local licensing requirements, including an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check, and have full commercial insurance."

Steve Garelick, GMB professional drivers' branch secretary, said: "Consumers will probably like it. But it will be disastrous for drivers.

"It's already very difficult to survive and this will make it even harder for drivers to earn a living."

Paul Ragan, chief executive of Veezu, which owns private hire firm Dragon Taxis in Cardiff, Newport and Bridgend, said they welcome the competition.

But, he added, the council need to prepare for a "backlash" from the city's black cab drivers.

"Uber drivers from other towns and cities like Bristol will undoubtedly travel to the capital to challenge for work, which will have little effect on our own business, but we know from experience will bring further challenges for both consumer and the black cab trade as work is diluted."

Related Topics

More on this story