Uber changes app following TfL concerns over licensing


A mobile phone with the Uber app.


Transport for London said it welcomed the move ahead of an appeal hearing in June

Uber London has made changes to its app to “make it clearer” to passengers its drivers are licensed by Transport for London (TfL) and it accepts requests for rides before allocating drivers.

It is currently appealing against TfL’s decision to withdraw its operating licence.

TfL said it welcomed the move ahead of the appeal hearing in June.

The latest announcement follows a range of amendments announced by Uber in recent months.

‘Accepted’ booking

Once a ride is requested, passengers will now see a message informing them Uber has accepted their booking and is finding them a driver.

Previously the message would state a driver was being found.

Once a driver is allocated, Uber “will let them know that TfL has licensed their driver, alongside information such as their name, photo, private hire licence number and car registration”, the taxi hire firm said in a blog post.

The changes come after TfL raised concerns some Uber drivers – particularly those operating at airports on the outskirts of London – may be licensed by neighbouring authorities.

Report crimes pledge

In response, Uber announced in February that from this month drivers would only be able to use its app within the region where they are licensed as a private hire driver.

Other changes Uber recently announced include a pledge to report crimes directly to police and to introduce a limit on drivers’ hours.

The firm had its suspension in Sheffield lifted in December and was granted a five-year licence on Tuesday.

This week, Uber re-launched in Barcelona where it was previously forced to shut down.

Uber had operated its service in Barcelona by using “peer-to-peer” unlicensed drivers, which sparked regulatory battles and court cases.

The new service in the Spanish city will use only licensed drivers.