Addison Lee protests against bus lane block

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John Griffin, chairman and founder of Addison Lee, has said he will indemnify his drivers against possible fines from using the bus lanes – which can potentially total £1,000 per offence.

Currently, black cabs are able to use the bus lanes in order to speed up their journeys, but minicabs are not. However, Addison Lee has secured a judicial review of the bus lane legislation which will be heard later this year.

Griffin said: ‘The current bus lane legislation is anti-competitive and unfairly discriminates against the millions of passengers that use Addison Lee. Minicabs perform the same function as black taxis and are licensed by the same authority, so there is no reason that they should be penalised due to outdated legislation.’

This is the latest in a series of protests Addison Lee has taken. It carried out a similar action on the M4 bus lane and deliberately broke the law by getting its drivers to use the lane. The company was issued with more than 200 tickets and 130 court summons, but all were dropped when the bus lane was removed.

It also signed a deal to trial to provide minicabs for Terminals 3 and 5 at Heathrow airport in 2010, but reaction from the black cabs at the airport saw the trial withdrawn by airport operator BAA.

Griffin added: ‘Black taxis are not a public service, they are a business just like minicabs and we will fight the injustice in the legal system that subsidises them as if they provided a public service.’

Transport for London has branded Addison Lee’s action as ‘utterly irresponsible’.

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