Where Uber operates

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THREE cities in the UK already have access to the taxi app Uber.

It operates in London, Manchester and Leeds and allows customers to book a taxi at the click of a button, cutting out taxi middlemen.

Taxi drivers in each of the cities held protests on the apps arrival.

It launched in London in spring 2012 and is rumoured to have more than one million users.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association held a protest over the way Transport for London (TfL) was handling and enforcing the Private Hires Vehicles Act.

The association argued that Uber should be treated as a taxi company and not a private hire firm as the smartphone acts like a meter.

TfL has asked the High Court for clarity on the law, which is still in progress.

The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association even hired private investigators to look into Uber drivers and an alliance of more than 20,000 taxi and minicab drivers has called on the government to crack down on Uber’s tax practices, which it says are unfair as it pays tax through its Netherlands base so it pays less.

It opened its Manchester branch in May last year and opened in Leeds in November.

The prospect of Uber launching in Yorkshire triggered a protest by members of the Unite union, fearful that the new market entrant would not be operating within licensing guidelines.