IOD Director agrees With Griffin Regarding BusLanes!!

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Open up London cab competition, IoD tells TfL

Simon Walker, Director General of the Institute of Directors, has today supported taxi firm Addison Lee in its dispute with Transport for London over use of London’s bus lanes:

“Addison Lee are right to say that the ban on their taxis using bus lanes is anti-competitive. TfL has handed black cabs special privileges which give them an unfair advantage over all other taxi firms. A level playing field for all cabs would better serve the interests of passengers and businesses alike. A date must be set for the judicial review as quickly as possible, to avoid this dispute dragging on.”

Story taken from StockMarketWire.com –

The Plot Thickens!!

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THE PLOT THICKENS

We at the Club have recieved information from a source within Addison Lee
that Mr John Griffin attended a meeting with Norman Baker ( Parliamentary
Under – Secretary Of State For Transport ) today. Tuesday 17th April.

The very same Mr Baker who went on record as saying about taxis that..
” They drive rather slowly in my experience to keep the clock
ticking over”.

Our information is that the issue of bus lanes was high on the agenda.
We at the LCDC will be applying for a FOI request for this meeting
to find out exactley what was said….and by whom.!

WATCH THIS SPACE

Read what Mr Baker said about the taxi trade in June

A transport minister sparked a storm among black cab drivers today by suggesting some trundle along slowly to rack up fares.

Cycling minister Norman Baker‘s quip was met with anger at the taxi rank. Cab meters add a charge based on time when the speed falls below 10.4mph.

Appearing at the Commons transport committee, the Liberal Democrat was highlighting how his department was seeking to axe unnecessary and ancient legislation.

He told MPs: “I think there is an offence of furious driving which only applies to taxi drivers because they used to be Hackney Carriage drivers, from about 1847.

“I must admit I have not seen any taxi drivers driving furiously; they drive rather slowly in my experience, to keep the clock ticking over.” He later told the Standard: “It was a light-hearted comment which I think some people will see a grain of truth in.”

TFL LETTER TO PHD WARNING THEM NOT TO BREAK THE LAW AND ENTER THE BUS LANES!!

Important information for all Private Hire Drivers and Operators
Under current regulations it is illegal for London private hire vehicles (PHVs) to drive in Bus Lanes operated by Transport for London (TfL) and London Local Authorities except when picking up and setting down passengers.

On Saturday 14 April it came to our attention that a letter had been issued by a director of Addison Lee plc to its PHV drivers in which he stated (among other things) that they were “fully entitled to use the bus lanes” and that he would indemnify them in respect of fines and other liabilities incurred as a result of following his advice.

A company owned by Addison Lee has brought legal proceedings arguing that the current regulations are in breach of European Union law. TfL is contesting those proceedings. The proceedings have not been determined and there has been no order by the court suspending the effect of the regulations.
The court will make its decision in due course. As regulatory authority for taxis and PHVs in London, TfL considers the decision to issue this letter inciting drivers to break the law now is irresponsible.

It has called upon them to rescind it. It is urgently considering legal and regulatory action against Addison Lee and will revoke their licence to operate if necessary.
However, quite separately from this action, TfL hereby issues the following notice to all licensed PHV drivers in London:
Under current regulations, driving a PHV in a Bus Lane, during the hours when the Bus Lane is operative (and other than to pick up and set down passengers) is a criminal offence for which PHV drivers may be personally prosecuted.

Those regulations remain valid until and unless there is a court order suspending their effect. There has been no such court order. This means that, as a PHV driver, you must not drive in Bus Lanes other than to pick up and set down passengers.

If you do so, you will be committing a criminal offence and you will be personally liable to prosecution, irrespective of any indemnity which anyone else may purport to give.
TfL has power to suspend or revoke a PHV operator’s or driver’s licence if it is no longer satisfied that the licence holder is fit to hold such a licence.
Please take note that:

o drivers who repeatedly contravene traffic regulations,
including by intentionally driving in Bus Lanes, other than to pick up or set down passengers, may be considered unfit to hold a PHV driver’s licence; and

o operators who encourage such conduct may be considered unfit to hold a PHV operator’s licence.

TfL requests operators to bring this notice to the attention of all their PHV drivers.

TFL PRESS RELEASE RE ADDISON LEE DRIVING IN BUS LANES

Addison Lee drivers warned not to drive in London’s bus lanes or face criminal prosecution

* Private hire vehicle drivers could be liable to personal criminal prosecution if they break traffic regulations, including by driving in bus lanes

* Drivers who repeatedly break traffic regulations could lose their PHV drivers’ licences

* Private Hire Vehicles are not allowed to use bus lanes in the capital and doing so is a criminal offence

* Police resources will be on street tomorrow morning to ensure bus lanes are only used by those vehicles permitted to do so

Transport for London today warned drivers employed by Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) company, Addison Lee, that they could face criminal prosecution if they drive in bus lanes; and that they could have their licences revoked if they do so repeatedly.

The warning comes after the management of Addison Lee told their drivers that they were entitled drive in bus lanes. Addison Lee has offered to indemnify their drivers against any penalties for driving in bus lanes. TfL has reminded drivers that such action is a criminal offence and they may be personally liable to prosecution, irrespective of any indemnity that Addison Lee may purport to give.

TfL are urgently considering legal and regulatory action against Addison Lee.

A company owned by Addison Lee has brought legal proceedings arguing that the current regulations are in breach of European Union law. TfL is contesting those proceedings, which have not been determined and there has been no order by the court suspending the regulations. The legal process is continuing.

Leon Daniels, Managing Director of Surface Transport, said: “The letter from the management of Addison Lee is utterly irresponsible. By issuing it, Addison Lee risk regulatory action against themselves and leave their staff liable to criminal prosecution. We have asked Addison Lee to withdraw their letter immediately. We are also writing to all Addison Lee drivers reminding them that repeated breaches of traffic regulations could see their licence to operate withdrawn.

“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.”

There are around 24,000 licensed taxis in London and over 60,000 licensed PHVs. Licensed taxis are allowed in many bus lanes. Taxis can legally ply for hire on the street, often picking up passengers from pavements by bus lanes. By contrast, PHVs are not allowed to ply for hire on the street. Allowing 60,000 additional vehicles into bus lanes would have a negative impact on bus journey times, potentially creating delays for millions of passengers.

TfL is working with the police to ensure additional on street police resources from tomorrow to enforce against anyone using a bus lane when not allowed to do so.

Griffin instructs his drivers to break the law re: london bus lanes

Letter Sent To All Drivers Of Addison Lee

Dear driver,

The director of Addison Lee plc believes that the current bus lane regulations, which allow London black cabs to use the bus lanes but prohibit private hire from doing so is illegal as it discriminates against private hire operators and drivers who offer a competing taxi service.

We also believe that it denies the public freedom of choice as journey times in the bus lanes are much quicker that those outside the lanes.

Our legal advice in this matter is that bus lane requierments are currently being misinterpreted to exclude PHV’s from bus lanes. Such misinterpretation is unlawful in the following respects.

a. It is in breach of European rules relating to the freedom of establishment and freedom to supply services
b. It infringes the general EU principal of equal treatment.
c. It infringes the English common law principles of equality before the law
d.it denies free and fair competition in providing an unfair advantage to one group of commercial operators over others.

Addison lee has sought and been granted a judicial review on this issue which is due to be heard by the end of the year. In the meantime Addison lee believes that we cannot allow our customer to continue to be victims of this unfair discriminatory treatment.

As chairman I can advise you that a lawful interpretation of the bus lane regulations entitles Addison lee drivers with private hire identifies to use all bus lanes in the same way as our competitors. Accordingly you are fully entitles to use the bus lanes.

We can confirm that entry into the bus lanes is not an endorsable offence and that we will indemnify all Addison lee drivers from any fines or other liabilities that may result from using the bus lanes as a result of this advice.

Should any conflict arise between yourself and any black taxi operator please be patient, make a note of any details and use your camera where possible.

Signed

John Griffin
Chairman, Addison Lee PLC