Ride-hailing giant Uber has announced a series of changes to its app for London users.

Uber is fighting to keep its licence in the capital following Transport for London’s unexpected decision in September to ban its app on safety and regulatory grounds.

Its appeal will be formally heard in court in June.

Uber said the changes to the app are aimed at making sure passengers 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,” Uber said in a statement on its website.

“All bookings through our app in London and surrounding areas (such as at airports like Heathrow) will be accepted by Uber London, which means that only drivers licensed by Transport for London can carry out those trips.

“And when we send riders the booking confirmation we will let them know that TfL has licensed their driver, alongside information such as their name, photo, private hire licence number and car registration.”

PODCAST: The future of mobility and transportation

It added: “We’re also making a change which means that if a rider doesn’t show up within eight minutes of their driver arriving, Uber will assume the rider no longer wants a car and automatically cancel the booking.

“In these circumstances a cancellation fee of £6 will be charged. Of course if the rider still wants a car they can simply request one through the app and make a fresh booking.”

Uber also announced that its operating licence to operate in Sheffield had been renewed by the authorities for five years following a brief suspension.

In December it failed to respond to queries from Sheffield city council, resulting in the suspension of its licence, although Uber said the correspondence had been sent to the wrong address.

Enjoy extra content and videos in the interactive digital magazine below

E-edition cover