Licensed cab drivers in Blackburn are set to hold a protest in the town over concerns out of town Uber drivers are working ‘on their patch’.

The protest aims to the highlight concerns about drivers not licenced in Blackburn with Darwen who are picking up fares in the area.

Since Uber's introduction in the UK, it has become common to see private hire vehicles working for the app-based ride-ordering service operating in a different borough to the one they are licensed in.

The service's easy-to-use app has seen it grow in popularity among those ordering private hire vehicles, but Hackney Carriage taxi drivers have spoken out at the impact it is having on their profession.

One cab driver, who did not wish to be named, said: “A loophole in the industry means a taxi driver can pick up in this town even though we don’t have an Uber operating licence in this town. 

“We have seen people coming over from Wolverhampton and then spending a few hours making money which should be going to local cabbies.

“People go on the Uber app and book within five minutes.

“You can’t pre-book an Uber in Blackburn as they don’t have a licence. The system does not allow it to do it.

“They will put us out of business. I know a lot of cabbies who are struggling to make ends meet.”

A driver protest will be held in Blackburn on Thursday, August 1, and aims to raise awareness of the issue and will last around one hour.

It is set to begin in Lower Audley Street and head through town, making its way along Barbara Castle Way, Montague Street and then Darwen Street.

With it being held during the post-work rush hour at 4.30pm the protest could bring the town to a standstill.

Similar protests against Uber have been held in other towns across the country.

Ahead of the protest, two people wearing Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak masks were spotted holding up a banner saying 'Wolverhampton Uber drivers go home' in Railway Road on Saturday.

The driver added: “We saw one from Wigan just the other day, and they are coming into the town and picking up fares for the day and then going home.

“We can’t move on to another town. We have to live here and earn our wages in this town.

“If they have done a drop off here they should not be allowed to pick up any more fares. It is as simple as that.”

Uber is the largest ride-sharing company worldwide with more than 150 million monthly active users and six million active drivers and couriers.

Martin Eden is Strategic Director of Environment and Operations at Blackburn with Darwen Council.

He said: “We understand the concerns of the Blackburn with Darwen based taxi drivers, however the Council is not in a position to act, a change of legislation is needed on a national level to address these issues.”

Uber have been contacted for comment.