Taxi app told it can operate in Brighton and Hove

Ola Taxi Image By App Innovation
Ola Taxi Image By App Innovation

The taxi app Ola was today (June 4) given permission to operate in Brighton and Hove.

The company has been granted a one-year operator’s licence by Brighton and Hove City Council.

Ola’s operations director Karl Lutzow told a council licensing panel that the company would only use local drivers.

All taxi drivers licensed in Brighton and Hove must stick to the council’s rules – known as the Blue Book.

He promised to restrict the use of out-of-town drivers after the council’s Licensing Committee chair Councillor Jackie O’Quinn raied concerns.

He said that out-of-town drivers would be restricted to picking up two fares within 24 hours before going back to their own area.

Ola wanted a five-year licence but was granted one for one year only. When the company starts operating, the licence’s one-year term will also start.

The council said that the shorter term was in “order to monitor their operation and the working of the memorandum of understanding”.

Drivers would also be restricted from working for more than ten hours and have an enforced four to six-hour break between shifts.

CCTV must be installed in all vehicles, whether operating as private hire vehicles or as taxis. And all drivers would be self employed.

The app has a panic button for passengers and drivers.