Uber UK unveils swathe of new safety measures to avoid London ban


The company's now appealing against a decision by Transport for London and City of York council to not issue the firm a new license.

"After listening to feedback from drivers, riders, local regulators and the police we're introducing a number of new features and changes to enhance driver and passenger safety", said Tom Elvidge, Uber's general manager in the UK.

The policy statement sets out TfL's expectations for private hire and ride-sharing services in London, and its principles will inform future consultations on specific regulations. This has already been implemented in London, and the plan is to make this standard procedure across the United Kingdom once the finer details have been worked out with regional forces.

Other changes to Uber's safety policy include a new 24/7 support line for users and drivers, which will be introduced later in the year, and a driver's licensing authority and private hire licence number will now be visible in a user's booking confirmation.

"Over the last few years we've led the way with pioneering technology which enhances safety, like GPS tracking of every trip and our two-way rating system".

Following London's outlawing of Uber past year, and as more ride-sharing services increase in prominence, TfL's new policy statement determines how such services will operate in the Capital...

Announcing the decision for a 24-hour support line, Uber said it was "listening to feedback", and would "pro-actively" pass on serious complaints to the Metropolitan Police immediately.

"But we recognise we can use our technology to go even further in setting a higher standard for private hire and other transport options", he added.

It will also report any serious incidents to police itself rather than leave it to the individuals involved.

Uber had promised to mend its ways under its new chief executive, Dara Khosrowshahi, who held talks with senior TfL officials in London soon after taking charge. Those who work for 10 hours straight are locked out of the Uber app for six hours, forcing them to take a rest.

Earlier in the week, Uber announced that from the middle of March, drivers would only be able to receive requests from the Uber app in the region in which their licensing authority was situated.

Companies "should ensure that drivers are treated fairly, ensure drivers have appropriate and reasonable working hours including appropriate breaks throughout their shift and have clear policies and procedures to keep drivers safe", Transport for London said Thursday in its proposal.