US ride-hailing app Uber on Friday announced new safety features for its service in Britain, as it appeals against the withdrawal of its licence in London.
The service, which has around 40,000 drivers in London, lost its licence over its reporting of serious criminal offences and its criminal-record checks for drivers, but is allowed to operate in the capital pending the appeal which is set to be heard later this year.
Uber will now “pro-actively” make reports of serious incidents related to a trip to the police, rather than encouraging individuals to contact authorities themselves, according to a statement on its website.
From next month, passengers will also receive the driver’s licence number in their booking confirmation, meaning passengers can more easily raise issues with the relevant licensing authority.
The app has already capped the number of hours its drivers can work in Britain in a bid to increase safety after heavy criticism of its business practices, and will set up a 24/7 telephone helpline for riders and drivers.
“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,” it said.
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.