Commuters are being warned to avoid central London this afternoon as thousands of licensed cab-drivers stage a slow drive through Trafalgar Square.

The protest is in response to the American taxi-hailing app, Uber, and its lack of regulation.

Backed by investors including Goldman Sachs and Google, the app with growing appeal allows customers to book and pay for a private licensed taxi and fares are calculated based on time and distance.

Cab drivers are angry that the app currently used worldwide, and by over 3,000 people in the capital, is being used to de-regulate the industry and is unsafe.

The Metropolitan Police have imposed conditions on the protest scheduled to start at Trafalgar Square at 2pm stating it must be confined to Whitehall and Parliament Street and must finish by 3pm.

Transport for London (TfL) which regulates the capital's various transport systems, has asked the High Court to rule on the legal issue.

TfL's chief operating officer for surface transport Garrett Emmerson 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 if at all possible."

They are advising drivers to avoid the area and for commuters to walk or use the tube network.

Campaign group Cabbies Against Boris is fully-supportive of the London protest which stands against the "improper and unlawful decisions imposed on the taxi trade by Transport for London and the Mayor."

Similar protests by traditional cabbies will also take place today across European cities including Rome, Paris, Berlin and Milan.