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Ola Expands its Business, Starts Services in UK

The seven-year-old Ola claims to have 125 million users in 110 cities

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Ola
Ola enters UK, rides in South Wales.

Indian ride-sharing major Ola on Monday forayed into the UK market by launching its services in South Wales, the company said in a statement.

“Ola will offer the customers in South Wales, including in Cardiff, Newport and Vale of Glamorgan, the option of hailing private hire vehicles and taxis on one platform,” the city-based online cab aggregator said in a statement here.

With a plan to expand across the UK by the end of this year, Ola said it has already obtained the licences to operate in Greater Manchester, in northwest England, where it will begin its operations soon.

Over the past few weeks, the company has received positive feedback from the drivers in South Wales, said Ola UK Managing Director Ben Legg.

“We will work with the local authorities in helping the people with their mobility,” Legg said in the statement.

Ola
Founded in 2011, Ola has been competing against Uber in the ride-hailing market. IANS

As part of launching its services in UK, the company is offering limited discount rides to its customers.

Ola’s UK entry comes about seven months after it announced driving into Australia on January 30 to foray into the international market to rival US-based Uber.

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The Bengaluru-based firm is currently operating in seven cities across Australia including Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast and Canberra.

Founded in 2011, Ola has been competing against Uber in the ride-hailing market.

The seven-year-old Ola claims to have 125 million users in 110 cities. (IANS)

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Air Pollution ‘Largest Environmental Risk to Public Health in UK’: Report

Cosford said a key challenge was the commonly held view that actions to reduce air pollution run counter to economic growth and development

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China
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Public Health England (PHE) has put forward a series of recommendations aimed at reducing the 28,000 to 36,000 deaths a year in Britain attributed to long-term exposure to polluted air.

One recommendation in the 250-page PHE report published here on Monday was for town and city councils to be given powers to implement no-idling zones to stop people leaving their car engines running while waiting outside schools, hospitals and care homes.

Another proposal would see low-emission or clean air zones to discourage the most highly polluting vehicles from entering populated areas, Xinhua news agency reported.

The report said that air pollution was the biggest environmental threat to health in Britain with strong evidence that air pollution causes the development of coronary heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease, lung cancer and exacerbates asthma.

“The evidence is clear on the scale of harm from air pollution. It is the largest environmental risk to the public’s health in the UK,” warned the report.

Delhi. air pollution
A man rides his bicycle in front of the India Gate shrouded in smog in New Delhi, Dec. 26, 2018 (Representational image). VOA

“People are exposed to outdoor air pollution in the places where they live, work and spend their leisure time. Whilst there are opportunities for individuals to reduce their personal exposure, or that of their children, these are limited,” it said.

The document said that public spaces should be redesigned so people aren’t so close to highly polluting roads by making streets wider or using green hedges to screen against pollutants. There should also be more investment in clean public transport, footpaths and cycle paths.

Professor Paul Cosford, PHE’s Medical Director, said: “Action is needed at all levels to address this unacceptable, serious and avoidable source of harm to our health. We all have a role to play in helping to make sure that the air that we, and future generations, breathe is clean air.”

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Cosford said a key challenge was the commonly held view that actions to reduce air pollution run counter to economic growth and development.

In January, the British government announced a “Clean Air Strategy” setting out plans to meet ambitious legally binding international targets to reduce emission of the five most damaging air pollutants by 2030. It will be followed by a wider Environment Bill. (IANS)