by Marcus Williamson
The minicab company Addison Lee is losing its contract with the Government for
private car hire, according to information received today from the Cabinet Office.
The Government’s Chief Procurement Officer, John Collington, who is based at the
Cabinet Office, confirmed the termination of the contract in an e-mail today. He
“We expect all private hire vehicles in London to adhere to the prohibition on
using bus lanes.
In regard to Addison Lee, the only existing government contract with the company
will expire at the end of this month and is not being renewed.”
Addison Lee has been hit by controversy on two issues recently:
In the Chairman’s Column of the company’s magazine, Add Lib, John Griffin
suggested that “the influx of beginner cyclists is going to lead to an overall
increase in accidents involving cyclists”. Cyclists responded this week by staging
a protest and “die-in” outside Addison Lee’s offices on Monday evening.
Then, on 16 April, the company issued a press statement saying that it had
instructed its 3500 drivers to use bus lanes, in breach of the law. Griffin said
he would indemnify its drivers from any fines or payments that resulted. Transport
for London today won an injunction preventing Addison Lee from using bus lanes. Mr
Justice Eder said the injunction had been put in place to “prevent crime and
protect the freedom of others”.
It can be assumed that the Government’s decision on terminating the contract is
the direct result of the company’s disregard for the law. In the meantime, Addison
Lee awaits an impending judicial review of the Bus Lane legislation.