A trio of BBC executives ran up more than £12,000 in taxi claims on expenses between them in a three-month period, new figures showed today.
They include a total of £4,862 in fares by BBC director of vision Jana Bennett.
The figures are revealed in the latest disclosure of expense claims released for top BBC executives.
Ms Bennett, who is paid a salary of £412,000, claimed £675 in a two-day period in November for journeys within the UK.
She hit the headlines last year when it emerged that she had claimed £500 for a stolen handbag.
Other big taxi claimants include the BBC's director of future media and technology Erik Huggers, who ran up £3,908 over the period.
And Caroline Thomson, the corporation's chief operating officer, accounted for £3,880.
Together the three executives ran up £12,650 in cab fare claims for quarter three of the financial year. That is the equivalent of 87 licence fees, which currently cost £145.50 - or the cost of a Citroen Xsara Picasso, which starts at £12,700.
Between them, the trio have run up around £137 in taxis each day over a three-month period.
Ms Bennett's claims equate to spending more than the cost of a licence fee every three days on taxi fares for a quarter.
A BBC spokesman defended Ms Bennett's use of taxis today, saying they were the most efficient way of conducting business en route.
He said: "As the director of BBC Television, Jana Bennett's diary is incredibly busy, so she has to use her time as efficiently as possible.
"Whenever she is travelling to meetings, she will schedule in a number of business calls to make the best use of this travel time. Because of the confidential nature of these discussions, it is not possible to hold them in public."
Some executives seem to have reined in their taxi use. Radio 3 controller Roger Wright ran up more than £3,000 in the last quarterly list of published figures, but today's claims show this dropped to just £170 for the most recent quarter.
Other BBC big guns ran up hefty taxi expenses, including BBC creative director Alan Yentob and BBC director of audio and music Tim Davie. Mr Yentob ran up fares of £1,640, with Mr Davie on £1,222.
Mr Yentob booked a return business-class flight costing £3,381.10 to New York last September.
The BBC said Mr Yentob had been involved in "back to back" meetings in the US city regarding production and talent and had also been filming his Imagine programme.
The corporation said it is within BBC policy to fly business class on such long-haul journeys.
Adrian Van Klaveren, controller of Radio 5 Live which is moving its base to Salford, booked four return flights to Manchester costing nearly £700 between mid-November and mid-December.
In October, he booked a return flight to Boston costing more than £1,000.
The BBC said in Mr Van Klaveren's case, he had flown economy class and the Boston visit was a "research trip" ahead of fitting out the new buildings in Salford.
The corporation said that sometimes it was more efficient for Mr Van Klaveren to fly to Manchester because of where he lives and it could also work out cheaper than other options.
Mark Damazer, controller of Radio 4 and Radio 7, claimed £366.64 last November for a "thank you to talent in key show" under the category of external business entertainment.
He also claimed £80 under external hospitality in October as a "thanks for doing big series".
Mr Damazer claimed nearly £50 under external hospitality in November 2009 over "Arts issues" and £50 the following month on an "end of run Moral Maze dinner".
Bob Shennan, controller of Radio 2 and the under-threat digital station 6 Music, claimed £191.84 in December under external hospitality for a "Terry Wogan Hall of Fame lunch".
BBC3 controller Danny Cohen claimed £247.28 under external entertainment in September "to thank for Dancing on Wheels" and spent £80 on flowers in October.
The figures also showed that BBC Global News director Richard Sambrook claimed £111.55 on 12 David Attenborough DVDs in September.
The BBC said that overall taxi spend for the latest quarter was £38,829.46 - a drop from £39,029.72 previously and £46,110.25 before that.
Total expenses and central bookings claims have also been cut by around £15,000.
The overall tally for the latest figures came to £173,527.04 - down from £188,284.98 the previous few months and £174,650.42 before that.
The BBC also emphasised that several of Mr Huggers' taxis were shared between him and other members of his team.
A spokesman said: "As the senior team member, Erik would claim the overall cost for these trips."Reuse content