Addison Lee (John Griffin Article)


As has been emphasised many times, there is a need for change. The failure to embrace this message and move forward will be the licensed cab trades stumbling block, and the slick operators in the PH industry will capitalise on our failures. Read these two articles, one by John Griffin and another by FT.com

There is a certain amount of PH rhetoric in John Griffin’s article, but also a clear message about how and where he and PH will succeed by our failure in customer service standards and neglecting to embrace new technology. He goes on to compare the London cab trade to Woolworths who believed their High St brand name was a licence to print money; they eventually became a victim of stiff competition and their own complacency!

Addison Lee employs the very best I.T. professionals and analysts, people at the top of their game. They are employed to enhance the facilities, services and operations of Addison Lee. John Griffin is always looking to the future. He has all of the attributes of a man determined to succeed.

The people sitting on our own board of managements at the various radio circuits are no match for the likes of John Griffin. They have through gross neglect and ignorance let our industry slip behind, by failing to research and invest in new technology. The only technological breakthrough that has been made and used in recent years is concierge, a booking engine that has helped PH to grow and prosper at the expense of our industry and DaC’s  own drivers!

Brian Rice said recently at the DaC A.G.M, that he has no intentions of competing with Addison Lee; emphasising weathering the storm was the way we would survive, as he and his BoM had stashed away a few quid for a rainy day.

Below is an article originally published in Echo 99, Addison Lee’s own professionally written magazine:

These are hard times for both the hackney carriage and private hire trades. There seems to be some evidence that the black taxi trade has been hit hardest. Some private hire proprietors will rejoice in this fact but they should consider how this may affect them.

The taxi trade often accuses the private hire industry of a hidden agenda whereby they are secretly planning to be able to ply for hire. Nothing could be further from the truth, if private hire drivers could ply for hire all the companies would have to close as they would have no drivers.

The truth is that London needs a vibrant taxi industry with both hackney carriage and private hire competing to offer superior services. On the available evidence it is clear that the black taxi drivers are beginning to suffer from years of neglecting the quality of service they are offering. A visit to any mainline station rank will show a number of drivers  inappropriately dressed in trainers and shorts who sit in their cabs while the passengers wrestle their suitcases into the rear passenger area.

The private hire industry is now paying drivers to take customer service courses take topographical tests and how to make maximum use of the new I.T. facilities that are installed in their vehicles. Satallite navigation systems are now more reliable and sophisticated even taking on board traffic conditions and road works. The London taxi driver at best knows 10% of all the streets in London while the sat nav reaches 99%. These are issues that the taxi trade needs to take onboard if they are to fight for their share of the market.

Will passengers continue to stand on street corners waiting for an available taxi or will they press a button mobile that will send them the details of the driver who is on his way to pick them up?

London needs a vibrant black taxi trade offering the quality of service which meets the demands of the 21st century. They urgently need to address this problem or they will disappear under a barrage of competition from the private hire industry. This must not be allowed to happen. For a driver who takes two years to complete his knowledge, now is the time to take one week to learn the art of customer service.

The London black taxi enjoys a lot of emotional support from the public. Over the years they have earned this support, but so did Woolworths who died because they failed to change with the times.

This must not happen to the London hackney carriage and the time to start the fightback is now.

John Griffin.

Click here to read the second story published in FT.com

The time is right for change. We can move forward into a bright and exiting new era, and maintain our reputation as the World’s best Taxi service. Or we can stay apathetic and let the current status quo maintain a standard of living at the expense of our jobs and industry.

Get out of the trade squabble and into the real fight now!




16 thoughts on “Addison Lee (John Griffin Article)

  1. Absolutely spot on article. The writing is all over the wall. When Mountview’s end of year accounts finally come out they will show they have made a 1 million loss over the last year.
    DaC’s board of management are spreading the leg’s of the society for it to be used by PH. It doesn’t take much imagination to see what lies in the future for these two miss-run business’s !

  2. what is the point of someone like me investing £37,000 in a mercedes taxi when the wankers running our circuits have already waved the white flag to P.H. ?
    what a joke

  3. Well, let’s start our own radio circuit then, with absolutely no connection or association with the inferior mini cab racket.

    The London Taxi trade has the best trained drivers in the world, and we should be promoting this it’s a great selling point and coupled with the latest technology were on to a sure fire winner.

    I have just seen a new Merc Vito with driver and passenger compartments fitted with leather interior, it’s wonderful.

    We have the vehicles

    We have the knowledge

    We just need the balls

    Are you prepared to put your money were your heart is to start a new circuit YES or NO?

  4. El Cabos, I see where you are coming from but the drivers on Dial A Cab the only society owned by the drivers could if they had the balls get rid of Ronald Rump and the board of parasites, then run it correctly for the benefit of the licensed cab trade….it`s not rocket science.
    Then all the drivers on ComCab, and Mountview who are unhappy can join the new “Lords ” and work to get our work back from the PH and promote ourselves.

  5. All the radio circuits are a joke.!
    the people we have trusted to look after our interests have sold us down the river as fast as you can say…..Addison Lee !

  6. It is about time all radio
    Drivers stood their ground. You
    all hold the key and this is your
    Subs.. I hear com cab are now
    Ringing old drivers trying to get
    them to rejoin the whole lot
    Of you would be better off turning
    Your systems off and then they
    Would get the message. Add lee don’t
    Get involved with black cabs
    And look how well they are doing .

  7. Why is it that we can see what needs to be done but the rank and file drivers out there just allow all this to go on un-challenged, it really gets me down some times.
    We could all help save our trade, but the majority choose not to lift a finger, sad, very, very, sad.

  8. Start our own circuit and go for the cash work. No run in and no stupid £2 booking fee. Fix prices to lap. You wouldn’t be able to have a day off with the volume of work. People want to use us. The re-claim the work campain has shown us this. The just need to be able to book us.

    • Tclondon taxi, you are correct, the radio circuits have imposed another £2
      on OUR meter without a bye or leave. It is there to bolster their profits, no more no less, and we have to collect it on their behalf. We have to explain to the customers why after 10 min wait there is £6 + ON THE CLOCK.
      As I have said the only circuit there for the drivers is DAC, if the present idiots were taken away then the drivers could take control, and the disgruntled drivers on other circuits could join and really give the PH a run for their money.
      At DAC they have a system, office, staff, and money in the bank, all the drivers have to do is grow some balls.!

      • I hate addison lee as much as the next man, but I wish we had someone running a circit the way they run theirs. All their cars are black. The only adverts are their own. The drivers are clean, smart and polite. They are reliable. They can be booked online, by phone or by iPhone and don’t charge £2 for the service of answering the phone!!! There’s not £4.20-5.80 on the meter just for driving to the job. If D.A.C is really owned by the drivers then please get rid of your B.o.m and put theses changes in place and compete with Addison lee.

  9. Spot on Grant, the circuits have treated us like mugs, and to be fair, whilst the work was there we the drivers let them have carte blanche to do what they liked.
    I feel that we will never get our work back as it was and must stop the decline anymore.
    I have just bought a fantastic mercedes vito and the passengers love it….we do have the means to get our work back, we just do not have the people to act on our behalf.

  10. Let’s treat the circuits like mugs then, why not pick St Georges’ day Fri April 23rd and not switch on our radio equipment, and see what happens.

    Happy Days.

    • El Cabos, great idea, If we do not do something drastic soon then our role on these radio circuits as the reliable “back up ” will also go.
      I am sure that they are just biding their time before they jetison us all of anyway, I`m with you mate St Georges Day it is
      ” Cry for Harry, and St George ” Public here we come.!!!

  11. Drivers have no one to blame but themselves on DaC. Grant stood up at countless AGM’s only to be piloried by some prat who thought the sun shone from Eric Brain’s backside……..more fool Mr Prat who believed the lies and swallowed the £1M profit nonsense!!!!

  12. Blimey guys. The drivers are clean, smart and polite at Addison Lee. They are reliable too. From a hackney driver? Sir, I salute you.

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