A TAXI-hailing service to rival Uber has started its first services in Newport today.

Ola, one of the world’s largest ride-hailing platforms, has today started its first UK services across South Wales, including in Newport, Cardiff and Vale of Glamorgan.

Ben Legg, managing director of Ola UK, said: “This is an exciting moment for everyone at Ola and we are very pleased that South Wales is where we will be starting our UK journey.

"Over recent weeks, Ola has received positive feedback from drivers in South Wales and looks forward to providing passengers with a dynamic, new responsible service. We are determined to do a great job for the community and work closely with local authorities to help with their mobility goals.”

The company seeks to lead the industry with passenger safety: drivers are DBS checked and ride details can be shared with emergency contacts at the touch of a button.

Ola, which operates in 110 cities around the world, said it would be the only ride-hailing app in South Wales to offer customers the option of private hire vehicles and black taxis on one platform.

The company said it also works with national governments and local authorities, to help solve transport mobility issues in innovative and meaningful ways.

The new taxi service hopes to expand nationwide by the end of 2018 and has already obtained licences to operate in Greater Manchester.

Ola’s entry into the UK follows its successful launch in Australia in February 2018, where it now operates in seven major cities.

Customers can download the Ola app on Google Play or the iOS App Store and register for an account to begin booking rides.

To celebrate its UK launch, Ola is offering customers a limited number of discounted rides to try its new service.