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January 21, 2016updated 31 Aug 2016 9:49am

Uber scores another victory in London as TfL drops restrictions

News: Several new restrictions were ditched including the 5 minute wait.

By CBR Staff Writer

Transport for London (TfL) has ditched a series proposals that could have imposed restrictions on ridesharing apps such as Uber.

Proposals that were dropped include forcing operators to wait about five minutes between booking and starting a journey, operators having to offer a prebooking service and not allowing an app to show vehicles available for immediate hire.

An Uber spokesman said: "We’re pleased that Transport for London has listened to the views of passengers and drivers, dropping the bonkers ideas proposed last year like compulsory five-minute wait times and banning showing cars in apps."

However, following a consultation launched in September, the authority said it planned to introduce new regulations including a formal English-language requirement for drivers, guaranteed fare estimates for customers in advance of their journey and several others.

The new measures also include easier process for customers to complain if they need to, and more data given to them on the car they are about to get into.

TfL will now carry out a further four-week consultation on the proposed changes, with the results being put to its board on 17 March.

The authority said it will also change the structure of licence fees paid by operators of several sizes to better reflect the costs of compliance and enforcement activity.

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London Mayor Boris Johnson said: "New technology has revolutionised the private hire industry in recent years, bringing with it quantum leaps in terms of faster, better and cheaper services for customers.

"However it has also meant a rapid increase in the number of private hire vehicles on our streets, an increase that is responsible for causing congestion and has the potential to worsen air quality in central London."

It is estimated that the number of private hire vehicles circulating within the central London Congestion Charge zone has increased by more than 50% in the past two years.

Johnson urged TfL to investigate the impact and feasibility of removing the congestion charging exemption for private hire vehicles in order to cut congestion in central London.

Uber has over 20,000 drivers in London. Last year, the transportation network firm won its high court case in London.

The way the taxi-booking service charges for rides has been proved to be legal, after a case brought against it by TfL that claimed the app was being used as a taximeter.

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