Black cab drivers are threatening to bring central London to a standstill tomorrow (June 11) as the row with drive-sharing app Uber continues.
Hundreds of drivers are expected to take part in the mass protest, which is over the use of taximeters.
The Uber app is designed to calculate the journey distance and fee and relay this information to the driver. The Licensed Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) says this acts as a taximeter, which private vehicles are not allowed to use.
The drivers are planning to gridlock the centre of the capital in protest over the technology, parking-up in Parliament Square, Trafalgar Square and along Whitehall from 2pm.
Mick Cash, acting general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said the attack on the taxi trade "by a combination of mayor Boris Johnson and wealthy global corporations" is a "scandal".
"We would urge the people of London to back their cabbies 100%," said Cash.
"There will be serious disruption on Wednesday, but that will be nothing compared to the disruption and dangers of allowing our licensed taxis to be driven from our streets through a combination of ignorance and greed."
Uber was first launched in 2009 as an app to allow users to order private cabs and find ride-shares. It now operates in more than 100 cities around the world, including London and Manchester.
Last week Transport for London (TFL) announced it has referred the matter to the High Court. It said the “rapid pace” at which smartphone technology has developed means there needs to be legal clarity on the matter.
Garrett Emmerson, chief operating officer for surface transport at TFL, said: "A number of taxi drivers are set to cause pointless disruption for Londoners over a legal issue that is down to the courts to decide upon.
"TFL will work with the Metropolitan police to do all we can to keep central London moving. However, given the scale of the likely disruption, we would advise drivers to avoid the area."
Uber, which is backed by Google and Goldman Sachs, has 3,000 registered drivers in London.
Last month the offices of the creators of taxi hire app Hailo were vandalised, after the company opened up its smartphone booking service to private hire vehicles.
The word ‘scabs’ was written on the walls of the firm’s offices in London, which was set up by three former London cab drivers.