App-hire taxis come to Bath

The Uber website.

The Uber website.

Taxi travel in Bath is to undergo a revolution as controversial firm Uber has been granted a licence to operate in the city.

The smartphone-based cab operator is expanding across the UK and now Bath & North East Somerset Council has received an application from the company to act as a licensed taxi operator within B&NES.

The application has been considered in line with the Council’s policies and procedures and – as all the necessary criteria have been met – the application has been granted.

Uber, which was founded in San Francisco in 2009, is different to traditional taxi companies, as passengers hail a driver using an app on their smart phone, agree a fare prior to their journey, and pay using an account which they have already set up.

Cllr Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North), Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “We have recently issued a private hire operator’s license to Uber Britannia Ltd which uses a smart phone application to connect passengers and drivers.

The Uber website. Click on images to enlarge.

The Uber website. Click on images to enlarge.

The company has operated in other cities such as London, Manchester and Bristol for some time now and offers a new type of service to passengers.

Public safety is of paramount importance to us and we are reassured by the company’s intention to use only Bath & North East Somerset Council vetted and licensed drivers and vehicles.

This is a relatively new type of service and we will continue to monitor it very closely to see how it works.”