Ride-hailing app Ola edges closer to London with new Luton private hire operators licence being gran

Indian based ride-hailing firm Ola has been granted a private hire operator’s licence by the Luton's borough council’s licensing sub-committee, according to a report in the Luton Today.

The company has always said that they are focused on operating in all the licensing areas that their competitors offer a service.

The one difference between Ola and the likes of ride-hailing giants, Uber, is that they offer the opportunity for not only private hire drivers to work on the app, but also hackney carriage drivers.

According to the report, the licensing sub-committee was told that the company plans to provide executive services in six to eight months to and from London Luton Airport.

Between 100 and 500 drivers will initially be signed up to drive on the platform, with future numbers likely to increase to up to 2,000.

It has been reported that bookings made within the Luton area will be given to local drivers, but cross border journeys, such as from Luton to Manchester Airport, may be offered to an Ola driver from outside the town where appropriate.

The sub-committee decided to grant the application for the operator’s licence, with exemptions to the current council policy over keeping records electronically instead of in a handwritten bound book.

The sub-committee also requested that the application for licence renewal should be reviewed in full by a panel, instead of by the licensing service under delegated authority.

Ola currently operates in a number of other UK cities including Cardiff, Exeter and Bristol. They will almost certainly seek an operators licence in the capital at some point in the near future.