TfL slams minicab firm Addison Lee for instructing drivers to use bus lanes


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The Independent Online

London’s leading minicab firm has instructed its drivers to risk fines of up to £1,000 by using the capital’s bus lanes.

In a challenge to “anticompetitive” legislation, John Griffin, the founder and chairman of Addison Lee, wrote a letter to the company’s 3,500 mincab drivers, instructing them to use the lanes, reserved for buses and licensed Black Taxis.

Mr Griffin, whose company donated £50,000 to the Conservative Party in 2009-10, said: “The current bus lane legislation is anticompetitive and unfairly discriminates against the millions of passengers that use Addison Lee.”

His company has secured a judicial review of bus lane restrictions later this year, but until then drivers have been instructed to shirk the law. Addison Lee has pledged to indemnify its drivers against any fines imposed.

Transport for London (TfL) has condemned the letter, threatening regulatory action against the company and warning that drivers personally risked prosecution if they followed their chairman’s orders.

Leon Daniels, TfL's managing director of surface transport said: “The letter from the management of Addison Lee is utterly irresponsible. London’s bus lanes are in place to ensure the efficient operation of the bus network, which carries more than six million passengers a day. Allowing tens of thousands of private hire vehicles to drive in bus lanes would seriously disrupt the bus network and our passengers’ ability to get around the capital.”