A NEW taxi app promising to be Barrow’s answer to Uber is due to be launched.

Called Ubaro, the app will allow people to order taxis on their phones like the popular national service, which operates mainly in big cities.

The team behind the creation took inspiration from another of their ventures, the Barrow Eats food ordering app.

They said a number of taxi drivers in Barrow had approached them to make the app, which could reduce the normal overheads that come with driving for a firm.

Only licensed taxi drivers will be allowed to sign up for the service - unlike Uber, which previously allowed anyone to set themselves up as a driver.

App co-founder Sam Cunningham said: “People in Barrow have got used to ordering food through an app so it makes sense to order a taxi in that way.

“Quite a few taxi drivers approached us about this and we think it could really benefit them.

“There’s also the convenience for passengers.”

Mr Cunningham developed Ubaro alongside business partner Scott Beckman.

The app allows people to book a taxi on their phone in “three taps”.

A driver then tells the passenger how long it will take to reach them, with users being able to track the car’s progress on a map.

Passengers will be able to pay by card, cash and mobile payment.

Fares are said to be similar in price to standard taxis, but without the usual “surge pricing” Uber uses at peak times.

Bob Mullen, secretary of Furness Taxi Trade Association, said he hoped the app would provide a boost to the existing car trade in Barrow.

He said: “For a number of years now we have been saying that we would like the fares to be higher.

“I think if more drivers start using the app then it could give us a bit of a boost to the trade.

“It may liven the trade up a bit. We have been in the doldrums for a while with fares.

“Firms have been frightened to raise fares so us drivers have been stuck in the middle of that.

“It might spark them to have a rethink."

Mr Mullen said he was concerned about using the app without an operator in between the drivers and the people booking taxis.

He said the app might not be used by every driver, with some not being technologically-savvy enough to get on board.

Colin Garnett, manager of Barrow’s Business Improvement District, said: “The Barrow Eats team took on a national company in Just Eat, it’s good to see do it again now with Uber.”

The app creators have not announced a launch date but said it will be released before the end of the month.

An open meeting for taxi drivers to discuss Ubaro is due to be held at Hawcoat Park Sports Club on Monday from 2pm.