INDIAN taxi-hailing firm Ola is seeking permission to operate in Bournemouth.

The multi-billion pound company is seeking to continue its expansion across the UK, having already been awarded licences by local authorities across the South West and south Wales.

The firm says it is aiming to ‘become an intrinsic part of the transportation ecosystem’ in Bournemouth and is intending to have 150 vehicles available before the borough council considers its application.

Founded in 2011, Ola made its first expansion outside of India in February last year when it started running in Australia.

Over the course of 2018, the firm was issued licences across parts of south west England and south Wales, including Bristol and Newport.

Members of Bournemouth council’s licensing board will consider its request to begin operating in Bournemouth on Thursday (January 10).

Its application says: “It is Ola’s intention to be an inclusive transportation platform serving the mobility needs of its people in both a reliable and transparent manner and become an intrinsic part of the transportation ecosystem.

“Ola will be the only mobile app offering both private hire vehicles and black cabs on its platform and steadily encourage adoption of ultra low-emission electric vehicles.”

The firm is planning to base itself in an office unit in the town and appoint a ‘day-to-day operations manager’ who will ‘liaise’ with its London headquarters ‘to roll-out marketing and operational activities in Bournemouth’.

Competition in the taxi app market in the town was boosted last year with the launch of Cab Comparison which has already signed up companies including Mobile Radio Cars, Parkstone Cars, Liberty Cars and Dorset Airport Taxis to its platform.

US-based market rival Uber had also planned to move into Bournemouth but withdrew its plans in 2017.

Ola made its intentions to move into the town public at the end of November when it sent an overview of its business plan to the council before lodging its application for a private hire operators’ licence.

The application will be considered by the council’s licensing board at its meeting on Thursday, January 10.