Flying taxis could be taking to the skies in the UK as soon as 2023.

Vertical Aerospace has become the first company in the UK to build and flight test the vertical take-off and landing, drone-style aircraft.

The project has today received a £2.5million grant to undertake a feasibility study, and those behind the idea say trials could begin in just two years’ time.

Tim Bowles, West of England Mayor, believes the UK could become a world leader in "air taxis".

James Richmond, an expert on "advanced air mobility" said the new technology could be a reality by 2023.

This Is Local London: What the taxi might look like. Picture: @VerticalAeroWhat the taxi might look like. Picture: @VerticalAero

He said: "As we look to the future of travel, it’s now more important than ever that we begin exploring more sustainable methods of transport within our increasingly populated cities.

"Bringing together the experience and expertise from across the consortium, we’re excited to begin developing a fully integrated system concept, using the latest digital innovations.

"This an important and tangible step towards making advanced air mobility a reality, and by demonstrating that we can provide a case for air taxis, we could begin trialling these services as early as 2023."

The electric Vertical Take-Off and Landing (eVTOL) aircraft, dubbed the VA-1X, has a 15-metre wingspan and is 13 metres in length, and will be able to cruise at impressive speeds of up to 150 miles/hour with a range of 100 miles.

This means that passengers could travel from London to Brighton in approximately 30 minutes.

Best of all, the flying taxi will be powered by a lithium-ion battery, meaning it will be entirely emission free.

While you might worry that a ride would come with a hefty price tag, thankfully Vertical Aerospace reassures that this shouldn’t be the case.

It explained: “Vertical Aerospace’s ultimate aim is to make the VA-1X significantly cheaper than helicopter flights, removing one of the major barriers to environmentally friendly air travel.

“Prices for air taxi services are initially expected to be between a helicopter flight and a private car, and will decrease as adoption grows.” 

Vertical Aerospace was founded in 2016 by Stephen Fitzpatrick, who is attempting to promote sustainability in transportation.

It is now a part of a consortium led by a company called Atkins and involving the West of England Combined Authority.