Uber new safety measures for passengers as firm battles back to operate in London


Uber has announced a series of new safety measures in the UK as it battles to keep its licence in London.

The taxi app said it will work more proactively with police when incidents are reported and introduce a 24-hour customer support phone line in an attempt to quell safety fears.

The car hailing service is currently appealing a decision by Transport for London (TfL) to not issue it a new licence to operate in the capital after the firm was described as not a “fit and proper operator”.

Uber’s changes also include plans to give customers more access to driver information – including the licensing authority and private hire number of their driver.

The firm’s UK general manager Tom Elvidge said: “With millions of trips across the UK booked through our app each week, the safety of riders and drivers using Uber is a top priority.

“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.

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

Uber has promised three key new safety measures for customers.

1. It has said it will work more proactively with police when crimes are reported. Under the new measures, Uber said it will now proactively make reports to police. The company has been criticised several times in the past for its approach to riders alleging sexual assault by drivers

2. A 24-hour support phone line customers can call

3. To give customers more access to driver information – including the licensing authority and private hire number of their driver

He added: “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.”

Under the new measures, Uber said it is changing its approach to reporting serious incidents to the police, adding that while it previously encouraged and supported individuals, it will now proactively make

The firm said it will directly pass police information about any serious incident reported by riders, and will also do so if one of its drivers is the victim of a serious crime and wants the company to act on their behalf.

When denying Uber a new licence last year, TfL cited the company’s approach to reporting serious crime as a key issue. Uber’s appeal is due to be heard in the spring.

Uber said it is also conducting a review of all previous serious complaints to ensure there were no outstanding issues.

The company said the policy is already live in London, and it plans to roll it out across the UK after discussions with other police forces.

The new safety measures announced also include a new 24-hour support line for both riders and drivers to handle any issues around a journey.

Uber said the new and increased driver licence details provided to customers would begin next month and said it would enable users to more easily raise any issues with a driver’s licensing authority as well as with Uber.