Published: Fri, February 16, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

Uber faces tougher rules in London (if its license is renewed)

Uber faces tougher rules in London (if its license is renewed)

The growth of ride-sharing and other advances mean that regulation must be fit for the next decade and not the last.

Uber is still battling to retain its right to operate in the capital, after Transport for London refused it a new licence.

TfL cited problems with the company's approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks - a decision the Silicon Valley firm is appealing. Uber had previously relied on passengers to make complaints, but now will actively pass on rider tip offs about serious incidents during trips.

Tom Elvidge, general manager of Uber in the United Kingdom, said: "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". Concern had been raised by the Met police that Uber was failing to properly investigate allegations of sexual assault against passengers - one major issue when TfL denied the firm a new licence.

Other changes include plans to give customers more access to driver information, including the licensing authority and private hire number of their driver.

The concerns outlined at the time included Uber's attitude to reporting serious crime though it was able to continue operating in the capital pending the outcome of an appeal due in the spring.

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Metropolition police officer Inspector Neil Billany wrote a letter to the Sunday Times in August previous year accusing Uber of failing to report sex attacks and other serious crimes committed by its drivers. Drivers must now go offline for at least six straight hours after 10 hours of trips.

The regulator said Thursday that it would introduce working hour limits for private hire vehicle drivers and data sharing with the government.

TfL says it's introducing these guidelines to improve safety and trust in public transport, and to ensure that people become less reliant on private cars.

National licensing database:Uber said it is backing a bill to ensure licensing decisions are consistent throughout the UK.

"Across the world we're also partnering with cities, from helping to reduce private vehicle ownership to using our data to assist urban planners through our new Movement tool".

United Kingdom general manager Tom Elvidge said on Friday: With millions of trips across the United Kingdom booked through our app each week, the safety of riders and drivers using Uber is a top priority.

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