Thursday, 26 April 2012

Government terminates contract with Addison Lee

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 stated:

"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.

by Marcus Williamson
Freelance journalist
26 April 2012

[Please credit the author if you use this article as a source of information for your own writing or broadcasting]

Update: 27 April

Mainstream media coverage of this story:

Independent: Minicab firm Addison Lee loses Government contract over bus lane rebellion

Guardian: Addison Lee loses government contract

Daily Telegraph: Addison Lee loses Government contract after bus lane row

The Times: Bus lane rebels Addison Lee lose government contract

Daily Mirror: Taxi for Tory donor: Tycoon loses contract after rows over cash-for-access, cyclists and bus lanes

Evening Standard: Addison Lee loses deal to drive ministers after bus lane battle

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