February 16, 2018 / 1:07 PM / in 6 months

Uber introduces new safety features as it fights to retain London license

LONDON (Reuters) - Taxi service Uber , battling to retain its license to operate in the British capital, said on Friday it would introduce new safety features, including 24-hour telephone support for riders and drivers.

FILE PHOTO: A photo illustration shows the Uber app on a mobile telephone, as it is held up for a posed photograph in central London, Britain September 22, 2017. REUTERS/Toby Melville/File Photo

The app said it would review all previous serious complaints and, from next month, give riders across Britain the license number of the driver on their booking confirmation and electronic receipt.

It will also report any serious incidents to police itself rather than leave it to the individuals involved.

Uber is appealing against Transport for London’s decision to strip it of its operating license in September last year.

TfL cited problems with the company’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks - a decision the Silicon Valley firm is appealing.

The substance of Uber’s appeal is due to be heard over five days from June 25 with a preliminary hearing due to take place before then in April to discuss further administrative matters.

The Silicon Valley firm, which has faced bans, restrictions and protests around the world as it disrupts traditional rivals, can continue to operate until the appeals process is exhausted, which could take several years.

Last month, Uber said its British drivers will have to take a six-hour break after they have accepted and made trips with passengers totaling 10 hours as it responded to criticism by trade unions and lawmakers over excessive working hours.

Reporting by Stephen Addison, editing by Sarah Young

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