Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Taxi wars: Addison Lee filmed breaking law in W12

 Addison Lee are illegally operating in Shepherd's Bush and one enterprising black cab driver has filmed them at it. Writing under the pseudonym Thomas the Taxi on Twitter this taxi driver is Bush based, and also writes a blog chronicling the life of London's cabbies and the issues they face on the Anderson Shelter blog.

You can see quite clearly that the Addison Lee driver is touting for a hail-based cab whereas the firm is only licensed to operate on a pre booked basis. This of course is the same firm who during the London elections thought they would get a buit of free publicity by threatening to drive in bus lanes, and who's odious owner described cyclists as 'amateurs' on the road who only had themselves to blame when they came a cropper.

Thankfully they were first successfully injuncted by a Court from using the bus lanes and then lost a large Government contract as a result. Tsk, amateurs.

When confronted the Addison Lee man, probably seeing that the cabbie was filming, decides to stay in his car and doesn't dispute that he is breaking the law. Sadly for him both his car and his car's registration will now be seen by thousands of people. I plan on asking TfL what action they have or will now take to stop illegal cabs operating in the Bush.


  1. He turned her away...

    1. Watch the video closer!
      The Cabby attracks the young girls attention by shouting
      "Do you want a taxi love"
      That is when she looks up and moves away from the Minicab

    2. Besides which we now know he quoted her a price. Not exactly turning her away, was he?!

  2. Lots of people come to add lee cars don't mean he was touting u mug some black cab drivers need to get a life!!

    1. To the reply above. You really need to get yourself back to school. What you should of typed was this :

      Lot's of people approach Addison Lee car's. Just because some one did, that doesn't mean the driver was touting, you mug.
      Some black taxi driver's need to get a life!!

      Now doesn't that read better! You mug!!!!

      Ha ha ha ha!

    2. My God, you're even dumber than the person you're attacking. You're the one who needs to go back to school.

      I think you mean:

      LOTS of people approach Addison Lee CARS. Just because SOMEONE did, that doesn't mean the driver was touting, you mug. Some black taxi DRIVERS need to get a life.

      No inappropriate apostrophes.

      Now, doesn't that read better? You mug.

  3. Talk about jump to your own conclusions, Ok so the facts 1 yes he should be parked there but for any evidence regarding touting?? Mmmmmmmm, no thought not. This is just another attack at Addison Lee from an London black taxi and they pride them self on being heritage to London. Times have changed 'Thomas the taxi', black taxi don't run the streets of London anymore ..... There is competition!

  4. Not passing comment on whether the guy was touting, but a black cab would cost a fair bit to curtain road and she may well have been looking for a cheaper option. Which in a nutshell is why black cabs having a monopoly at such a rip off prices is driving people into dodgy cabs. Spare us the Knowledge argument as well - every black cab seems to have a sat nav these days.

    Which is not to excuse the recent nonsense from Addision Lee, who are frankly just as badly behaved.

  5. difficult to argue against the fact that black cabs cost a bomb

    1. Thomasthetaxi Taxi8 May 2012 at 21:15

      Sorry Chris you are wrong
      But don't take my word for it do a price comparison over a couple of week ends

      Black Taxi beat most minicab prices

      Some local firms out side central London are cheaper but not all the time. At busy periods the price often doubles

    2. Compare Addison Lees smart phone App, against the black cab Hailo App

      Hailo is about 20% cheaper

    3. Black cabs operate as a cartel - it's a closed shop. When anything happens that threatens their monopoly over hailed taxis, or indeed anything happens to stem their rights (for example the black-cabs-in-buslanes issue) ... then they threaten to bring London to a stop, and just as with the Tube drivers, the mayor always caves in.

    4. There is no cartel James
      We are 25,000 sole traders competing against each other
      There is no monopoly, anyone can become a black taxi driver, all you have to do is complete the knowledge.

    5. You don't compete on price, which is the only competition that's economically significant in that particular market.

      And you have sole access to a particular group of customers, legally enforced.

      The price is the same in every black cab, and is centrally bargained. The customer has no choice.

      So that's not competition in any sense of the word.

      Also: customers can't even realistically make any choice between different black cab drivers - for (facetious) example based on cab comfort or quality of banter - either.

      Customers are not allowed to pick the cab they WANT off the rank. Just the next one.

      Sure, you compete against EACH OTHER but the customer sees no benefit - so it's not competition... just ferrets fighting in a sack.

      [aside: Actually, it just means good providers have to work HARDER because the collective bargaining unfairly advantages BAD black cab drivers, who ought to be pushed out of the market on a price/quality basis. (and you can thank the LTDA for that)]

      Black cab drivers act (unwittingly, or by choice) as a single monopolistic provider.

    6. Minimum charge for Taxis £2.40 what is minimum charge for A/L

    7. The OFT investigated Addison Lee's claim last year that they are 'on average 30% cheaper than Black Taxis'. They found that they are actually 33% cheaper.

      On anything less than 2 miles (with no traffic) a black taxi is cheaper. One everything else Addison Lee are cheaper. In my opinion they offer a better service too.

      I work in the procurement office for a city bank, and have been watching recent developments at Addison Lee with interest. Their image does not look so great at the moment, but overall their proposition offers so much more value than Black Taxis.

      What are the chances of Black Taxi rates being reviewed to increase competition?

    8. On Addison Lees website they quote terminal 123 to Mayfair £85
      Black cab price £65

    9. What are you basing the Black cab price on? It is metered! Depends on traffic conditions etc. And you lied about the Addison Lee price, I just checked using their iPhone app (great by the way) and the price is £70.40

  6. Addison to hale next year waaahoooooo

  7. The first line of this blog is a bit out of order, reason being is if anyone is doing anything wrong is the driver not the company, think about!

  8. he turned her away you prat.

    1. no he didn't - he offered her a price of £35. You prat.

  9. I don't agree - there was no evidence of touting at all. Black Cabs are a dying business, they have priced themselves out of the market.

  10. Hi noN believers
    As this is not a court of law I will spare you all the full video I took which has now been passed to LTPH.
    With added commentary from the couple who were touted.

    The Addi Lee driver was touting and quoted the young lady £35.
    The fare in my Taxi was in fact £29:60. And I recieved £30.

    It's not just Addi lee that tout from this rank.

    Many predators use this tactic to attrack would be victims.
    Last year over 120 unsuspecting young ladies were seriously sexually assaulted in scenarios just like this one
    Dont fall victim to the myths, back taxes on not always dearer than minicamps but they are a lot safer

    1. The safety argument is totally bogus. Yes, black cabs are safer than unlicensed minicabs. But they're not safer than licensed ones.

      Crooks are crooks, no matter what they drive or what license they hold. John Warboys.


      The safety nonsense is just scare tactics to retain the black cab monopoly.

    2. Did a A/L driver just get put in prison for killing some one, and the A/L driver said " I did not realise I ran him over" as you do of course

  11. There is good and bad in every trade. I used a black cab recently (about 11pm)- from Marylebone Road to Hackney Road E2, he took me back into the centre of London instead of going straight down to kings cross/pentonville/city road/old st. When i questioned his route, he sat there grumpy!! - defenseless. This is an act of deception and should be a criminal offence. I also used a black cab once to go from Picadilly to Victoria Park , AND HE HAD TO USE HIS NAVIGATION once we came to old st. I agree a taxi driver has studied for the knowledge, but that does not make him better than a minicab driver that covers a much wider area. There are 60,000 private hire minicabs and around 25,000 black cabs, therefore the private hire minicabs offer a greater benefit to the travelling public. I also say well done to Addison Lee for fighting their corner for equality (although the comments towards the cyclists were not thought out enough). Competition is good for the consumer, remember how we used to get ripped of by BT and Vodafone, now they are fighting to keep our business. Taxi Drivers that hate - GET A LIFE! , Concentrate on keeping your own customers and stop blaming others!

    1. erm excuse me but the shortest route is not via angel and at 11pm on a friday or sat defo not the quickest, the clue is in the route name ring road, you go right at kings x and cut through to old st keep following the sat nav and using minicabs mate as you are obviously not a londoner or have much of a clue

  12. Some of the comments above are astonishingly ignorant. Taxis are licensed by TFL to ply for hire, minicabs are not. TFL also set the fare structure. If you find taxis too expensive, write to & lobby TFL, don't feather the nest of illegal activitity by trying to hail a minicab, that negates their insurance instantly besides all other obvious concerns, doing that is ordering on being retarded!! If you choose to use any minicab firm, that's fine; but pre-book!! For instant street hails, take a taxi every time. Stay safe, stay legal, be lucky

    1. From one anonymous poster to the previous one...

      You're not - by the remotest possible chance - a black cab driver, are you?

  13. Black cabs are cheaper if there's no traffic, addison lee are cheaper if there is traffic.

    Going to Heathrow from the Bush Addison Lee beat black cabs hands down.

    Black cabs can go faster than 60mph too. I was overtaken by one on the M4 doing 80mph. Think he was rushing home for his tea!

    1. Quality comment!

    2. AddLee will also cut you up, change lanes without indicating, drive slow, then drive fast, sit in the fast lane at 60mph with no traffic ahead of them, stop between two traffic islands on a single lane road to check their GPS, park outside your house at 11pm and talk to other drivers, park across your driveway and have a sleep, park illegally in permit only zones, I've NEVER seen a black cab do all those things, maybe on occasion point 1 and 2, but that is it. On my daily commute, I can guarantee an AddLee Galaxy will cut me up in some way or other. I have no sympathy for them and I never use Addlee for those reasons.
      If they were off the road, I would for one would be celebrating. Give the minicab business back to the local companies so the roads are less cluttered and a nicer place to drive.

  14. I have absolutely no time for Addison Lee cabs, never have, never will. However the cartel that exists with the black cabs is a very remarkable one itself.

    Nobody is allowed to pick up passengers apart from them.
    Black cabs have the right to use bus lanes whilst nobody else does.
    Police do routine undercover sweeps to catch out mini cabs that tout that threaten the livelyhood of black cabs.
    Black cabs cost remarkably higher than a regular mini cab and the prices are regulated.

    Why does all this regulation and protection exist? I am genuinely confused at how this all came about.

    1. A Taxi Driver9 May 2012 at 20:17

      I am genuinely astonished by the ignorance of some of the above posters
      London's black taxes are allowed to ply for hire and pickup passengers because they have bothered to spend three years training doing the knowledge and are highly vetted.
      Minicab drivers on the other hand are just strangers with a car.

      To James above, the passenger can chose which ever taxi they want on a rank, you don't have to take the first cab
      There is a choice of 4 vehicles
      And the metered fare is a maximum which you can negotiate with the driver at the start of a journey.
      There is no monopoly because anyone can do the knowledge and become a taxi driver

      We get to travelling bus lanes because of the fact that we have to stop for Street hails and it would be considerably dangerous to keep swapping lines
      As the meter runs on time and distance is considered beneficial to let us use bus lines

    2. Taxi Driver. Anybody can buy a GPS system and be almost as good as those who do the "knowledge" just as getting a CRB is less than £60 quid. It is a monopoly that is helped along by the poor mugs who pay top dollar to use them.

  15. to all of the above. could you all please go back to school and learn to spell. !!!!!

    1. As long as you learn how to capitalise!

  16. A Dutch colleague of mine flew into Heathrow for a meeting last month, went to the black taxi rank and asked for a taxi to Wentworth (15/20 mins away). Cabbie (clearly smelling blood) turned the meter off and charged him £85 when he got there.

    I would also argue that young women would love to use the undeniable safety of black taxis but are pushed into less safer vehicles by the rip off prices.

    And spare us the argument that TFL are responsible for the prices - its a monopoly protecting itself (which includes posting videos, albeit of admittedly illegal activity).

  17. In 15 years of living and working in London, I have only twice been the victim of crime.

    Both crimes were committed by Hackney Carriage (black cab) drivers.

    In 2001, I left my laptop in the back of a black cab. I was struggling with my luggage following a business trip (needless to say, no offers of help from the driver), and forgot it in the confusion to disembark.

    My own fault, thus far.

    However, I was the last fare of the night according to the cabbie himself; he knew where I lived, having just dropped me off; the laptop was clearly labelled with my home address and with my company's Central London contact details; I phoned and faxed the Hackney Carriage lost property office at 6am that morning, and did the same for days afterwards.

    The laptop was never recovered. Perhaps it was stolen by the next passenger, but I find that very hard to believe given the circumstances.

    Then there was the time that I paid a black cab driver with a £50 note. This note was my weekly expenses float: I was a very lowly runner in an advertising agency at the time, and that money was all I was "paid" for the week.

    The cabbie gave me the £40 change from the fare in £5 notes.

    Only when I tried to pay for a sandwich the next day did I realise all 8 £5 notes were fakes. I imagine I wasn't the only customer to have fallen victim to this neat little cash scam.

    By contrast, I've always been treated very decently by (pre-booked) private car firms, and even by Addison Lee, who are ALWAYS cheaper over longer distances simply because the fare is pre-agreed and not metered.

    I also hate the 'sexual attack' line that Hackney carriages peddle at EVERY opportunity. This is a very cynical and dishonest campaign deliberately designed to frighten young women, when it's clear the ultimate aim is not to increase passenger safety, but merely safeguard their own higher rates of fares.

    If passenger safety were the concern, why not introduce fare competition? Why not offer statistics that compare black cabs with licensed minicabs?

    I strongly believe inflated Hackney Carriage fares are an unfair tax on single women living and working in London, and the sooner this monopoly is canned, the better.

  18. This war does bother more you people then Add lee or Black cabs drivers. On that video (BL driver was right, any minicab should`t be parking at taxi rank)and is not really certain if the AL been doing pick up""young lady"..and I don`t think that the AL driver were offering to young lady a cab, btw there is no problem to check it out...call Addison lee office and ask for details of the car (each car in Addison lee is tracked via gps and in office they know if the driver had a prebboked job or had not and all details ( there is time of booking, a car which was allocated, details od a driver...in sort term...from start to end)of all jobs are keeped in system, Addison Lee is working with police very close