Call for women-only Uber Pools for London

TfL to ensure private hire remains safe secure and convenient

Uber will introduce better reporting of incidents to police and a 24-hour complaints hotline under plans to restore public trust in the minicab-hailing app.

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

The biz has come under repeated fire for its laissez-faire attitude to even the most serious of offences - as reported by London Reconnections, Uber continued to employ a driver accused of a sexual assault and failed to contact the police.

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London's transport authority said in September that it would not renew the ride-hailing company's licence, with the appeal due to be heard in May or June.

One of the changes is going to be 24/7 telephone support for both drivers and passengers, which is going live later this year.

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The policy changes, Uber said, had already been implemented in London and it was now in discussions with police elsewhere.

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". Uber will now report serious incidents directly to the police, after it was criticized for leaving reporting to the victims. Uber said in the meantime it has started to cross-check whether a driver who was refused a licence by one council might instead be driving elsewhere in the United Kingdom on its app.

Helen Chapman, Interim Director of Licensing, Regulation and Charging said: "The private hire market is unrecognisable from when current legislation was introduced".

"We're determined to change the way we do business, so we'll carry on listening and plan to make other improvements over the coming months", Tom Elvidge, the general manager of Uber U.K., said in a statement Friday.

"Across the world we're also partnering with cities, from helping to reduce private auto ownership to using our data to assist urban planners through our new Movement tool". It also rolled out a feature that lets drivers go "offline" for six hours after a journey of 10 hours.

As well as an advanced driving test for new applicants, TfL is also considering proposals for consultation which include PHV operator fleet insurance and Private Hire vehicle signage.

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