AN APP has been launched in Bournemouth to allow people to compare taxi fares and book rides up to three months in advance.

Cab Comparison was conceived by former telecommunications worker Linsley Anthony, who says the app is a way for the traditional taxi industry to deal with the threat of ride-sharing services such as Uber.

He said: “With all the changes that have happened to the UK taxi industry, I was shocked to see how many taxi companies were not embracing new technology. So, I decided to take matters into my own hands, and set out to use my connections to create an app that could incorporate all local taxi firms.”

Although the taxi fares displayed on meters are regulated by local councils, the prices for longer trips are quoted per mile, allowing for competition on price.

But Mr Anthony added: “Most of our customers are using it for local travel because it’s in their pocket.”

Passengers can book a journey between 15 minutes and three months in advance, comparing the cost with different providers.

They can pay in advance by card, with booking confirmations sent by text and email.

Mr Anthony said the ap was “an opportunity to compete with new app-based ride service like Uber and Lyft on the same terms”.

“The goal is to generate more work for local taxi firms so the historical British taxi service is not replaced by ride sharing services,” he said.

The app was launched in Bournemouth on Monday, August 19, after operating successfully in Salisbury.

Mr Anthony, who is based in Bournemouth, had worked in the telecommunications industry supplying phone numbers to cab operators.

“I had a good relationship with the taxi companies and up and down the country,” he said.

Local companies already signed up include Mobile Radio Cars, Parkstone Cars, Liberty Cars and Dorset Airport Taxis.

Sean Luckhurst, the owner of Mobile Radio Cars, said: “The functionality it gives us to get return jobs from airports is great and it gives passengers an easy means of booking us via a safe and secure platform.”

US-headquartered Uber has shaken up taxi markets around the world but withdrew last year from plans to set up in Bournemouth. It has a licence to operate in Christchurch but has not yet received the two other licences it needs, for vehicles and drivers.

Cab Comparison is available via the AppStore and Google Play.