Addison Lee’s case was rejected by Mr Justice Burton who said that it was “obvious and compelling” for the reason behind Transport for London’s (Tfl) policy restricting the use of bus lanes.
He said on Wednesday at the conclusion of a judicial review, “There is to my mind a clear distinction between the need of black cabs (and their passengers and the public) for them to be in the bus lanes, by way of visibility and availability of, and access to, black cabs for those hailing a cruising taxi,
“I consider it makes entire good sense for black cabs to be travelling in bus lanes. Minicabs just do not have the need to use the bus lane, and black cabs do.”
In April, Tfl had sought and won the original court injunction against the bus lane disobedience suggested by John Griffin, the owner of Addison Lee. Tfl said, it was “pleased that the court has recognised the important distinction between taxis and minicabs”. Addison Lee argued that the ban on its private hire drivers using the lanes was a restriction under the European Law of the right to provide services and that it distorts competition.
Many cab drivers that work in and around London are worried that they will be losing business, especially during the London Olympics when they’ll have to take longer routes and won’t be able to pick up as many passengers because of the road restrictions. This is a blow especially with the increased cost of running the cabs, the high private hire insurance premiums and expensive fuel.
Leon Daniels, Tfl’s managing director of surface transport, said “Londoners will doubtless also be pleased to know that the court has ordered Addison Lee to meet TfL’s costs in defending this claim.”