In last week's Herald, they protested that Uber would need to become an Approved Taxi Organisation. [HT: EdBlog]
Again, I am not a lawyer. But it looks to me like Uber could run under existing private hire service regulations. I expect that the Taxi Federation will do their best to block it.
If I were the Taxi Federation, I'd be claiming that an app-based immediate hire is a lot more like flagging down a cab than it is like an advance booking; if I were Uber, I'd say it's rather more like calling a bunch of car companies to see who'll give the best rate. I think the latter's the more accurate description and that the private hire regs could then apply, but again, I'm not a lawyer. If running as a private hire service under Section 6 hits the 'too hard' basket, Uber could still come in as an app booking system for more standard cabs, but we'd lose much of Uber's benefit: the ability to surge supply into the market with higher fares during periods of anticipated high demand. It's harder to bring part-timers into the market when they'd need to be running a signed, metered, and camera-equipped car.
And a big thank-you to Daniel Lynch at the Herald for doing this properly. He quoted from the blog while linking to it to provide context for those wanting the additional context. Nice job!