Uber's increasing prices in parts of London and limiting UberPool to boost driver earnings

 
Lynsey Barber
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Uber is making changes to the service to increase drivers' wages (Source: Getty)

Uber is increasing the price of a ride in parts of London in an effort to offer better conditions to drivers working in the capital and increase wages.

Fares will now be standardised across London bringing them into line with the pricing set in central London. And UberPool discounts will be reduced at quiet times and limited in some areas in the city, while the service will no longer serve Heathrow airport in an effort to boost driver's earnings.

"The service is the same and the fare should be too," the company said, adding that it meant "some fares will be going up", largely in areas on the outskirts of London but within the M25.

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It's one of several new measures by the firm to improve life for drivers following criticism of working conditions by unions and MPs and as the capital's transport regulator reviews a renewal of its licence to operate, due at the end of the month.

The union representing minicab drivers today called on Transport for London to make a renewal conditional on certain rights for workers such as holiday and sick pay. United Private Hires Drivers has threatened to pursue a judicial review if such conditions are not imposed.

In addition to standardising prices in the capital, Uber is introducing a raft of new measures designed to help drivers. That includes tips on the best time and place to be driving, pre-booked office hours for meeting with Uber and alerts to trips that will take longer than an hour.

The app will also introduce a new feature that will let riders and drivers message directly within the app in order that they can more easily locate each other.

Other new features were introduced in August, while it now offers drivers insurance to cover drivers in the event of sickness or injury.

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"Drivers tell us they love being their own boss, but have also told us how we can make the experience of driving with Uber even better," said Uber's UK manager Tom Elvidge.

"This latest set of improvements follows the changes we've already introduced this year - from discounted illness and injury cover to paid waiting time and in-app tipping. We will carry on listening to drivers and acting on their feedback."

It comes as Uber faces mounting pressure over its operations in the capital. A group of cross-party MPs involved in the taxi all-party parliamentary group (APPG) yesterday called for TfL to revoke Uber's licence over safety concerns.

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