HACKNEY carriage drivers in York have launched their own Uber-style app to take on the competition.

The Yorcab app has been set up to allow customers to order hackney carriages at the push of a button, rather than waiting at a rank.

Driver Saf Din said the new app was a move forward for York Taxis, in an increasingly digital world.

Although the hackney carriages are not the first in the city to use an app, with 659 Taxis, Fleetways, Streamline and York Cars already following Uber’s digital lead, Mr Din said local apps were better for the city and the customer.

He said: “It’s by local drivers, using locally licensed taxi drivers, and serving local customers and tourists alike.

“Currently we have huge amounts of competition in our city, and what that has done is challenge us to move on with the times and technology. This is a first for York Hackney Carriage taxis. It gives the customer another option to book a local, licensed, regulated taxi.

“We carried out a brief survey and we asked customers why they use out of town vehicles. The customers said they offered better service, more competitive service, and a cashless and automated service. So we’ve listened to the customers of York, and this is our answer.”

Gary Dodson has been a driver for 18 years, and said the app - developed by a firm based in Wetherby called Fyooz - would not only help the customers, but the drivers too.

He said: “The app will benefit all drivers who are on it because they’ll be able to do more work, earn more money."

He added: “It’s a cashless society nowadays so the app is pretty good, the fact that the customer doesn’t have to pay with cash.

"It also makes it safer for me due to the fact I’ll have less cash on me when I’m driving around at night.”

The Yorcab app went live in 20 cars on Sunday, July 2 - to be increased to 50 within weeks - and is available from Google Play and the App Store.