Uber revamps its app in London to make clear to passengers that drivers are TfL-licensed

Alexandra Rogers
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Uber's licence appeal is scheduled for this summer (Source: Getty)

Uber is changing its app in London to make clear to passengers that all bookings are accepted by Uber London and not individual drivers, after Transport for London (TfL) criticised its system on revoking its licence last year.

It also wants to make clear to passengers that all drivers are TfL-licensed.

The tech company said on its website: "We’re making some changes to our app today which you may notice when booking a trip with Uber in London. The changes are aimed at making sure that passengers always know who has accepted their booking and who their driver is licensed by.

"From today, we will make it clearer to riders in London – once they have requested a car through our app – that Uber London has accepted their booking as the private hire operator."

Read more: Uber drops opposition to English language tests for drivers in London

Uber said with all bookings in the capital being accepted by Uber London, only drivers licensed by TfL can carry out journeys around London and the surrounding areas. Passengers will receive information about their driver with their booking confirmation, including their name, photo, private hire licence number, car registration and confirmation that TfL had licensed their driver.

A TfL spokesperson said: "We indicated in our decision letter concern over the process by which Uber accepted bookings. We welcome, therefore, that Uber has made changes to their app, which make it clear to passengers that Uber London has accepted the booking and that a TfL licensed driver will carry out the trip.”

Other changes include charging passengers who are eight minutes late for their journey £6.00. Passengers who are late for their journey but still want one will have to make a fresh booking.

Uber is currently battling to keep its licence in the capital after TfL announced it would not renew it last year on the grounds it was "not fit and proper to hold a private hire operator licence".

TfL said Uber's approach and conduct demonstrated "a lack of corporate responsibility", citing public safety and security implications such as the reporting of serious criminal offences, background checks on employees and its use of ​software that can be used to block regulatory bodies from gaining full access to the app.

Uber's concession comes as it is gearing up for an appeal on the revoking of its licence, which is set for 25 June.

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