Safety is fundamental to the Private Hire Vehicle (PHV) industry. It should be enshrined in everything companies across the industry do. For over 45 years Addison Lee has operated in London and safety has been at the core of the services we provide to our passengers, and it continues to be the case. When people choose to travel with us, whether travelling to work in the morning or after a meal out in the evening, they should not have to worry about their safety. When a travel booker is choosing which ground transport company to partner with, the safety of their colleagues is our priority. Without this commitment to carry their colleagues and loved ones safely, a Private Hire company has little to offer.
During the COVID-19 pandemic we have introduced additional hygiene and safety measures through our Safer Journey Initiative. This industry leading initiative, which includes safety screens in vehicles, face coverings for drivers and vehicle deep cleaning, protects the health and wellbeing of both drivers and passengers. London is our home and we have supported small and large businesses across the capital as the economy has begun to open.
Transport for London (TfL) regulates London’s PHV industry and requires operators, drivers and vehicles to meet minimum standards in order to provide services. For drivers this means a series of checks, including an enhanced criminal records check from the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS). Once a driver has achieved their licence to carry passengers, they can work with PHV operators to provide passenger services. This is where the relationship between the operator and driver is key. As a bare minimum the operator must ensure that the driver has a licence and cannot manipulate the systems, whether human or technical, to cheat the regulations. If an operator cannot guarantee this, then they cannot guarantee passenger safety.
Technology is a great enabler and has improved this industry beyond recognition; however, it is not a proxy for safety. We believe that the combination of technology and people create the right environment for safety.
At Addison Lee we take passenger safety and service to the next level because we know how important it is to our customers. This starts with the drivers we work with. Having a licence to carry passengers is just the first step in the driver’s relationship with us. We have a dedicated driver support team that has years of experience and expertise in the industry. This team provides drivers with a personal relationship with Addison Lee.
Our driver support team oversees and delivers our Driver Safety Action Plan. As set out below, this plan begins with selecting the finest drivers and supporting them throughout their time with Addison Lee and beyond.
Addison Lee’s Driver Safety Action Plan:
- Our driver support team ensures that potential drivers have the appropriate licence to provide passenger services and meet levels of experience and quality that aligns to our business.
- Selected drivers then attend an interview where their knowledge of London is tested. If they meet these knowledge standards, they are then assessed on their communication skills, professional conduct and appearance.
- Drivers that pass through this stage are then invited to attend an induction day. As part of this training the driver support team take drivers through Addison Lee training videos, protocols, and how to use their vehicle technology properly and appropriately.
- Drivers have access to a fully insured vehicle from our fleet, which is licensed for hire and reward, and are allocated work once they are familiar with our practices. Drivers can access additional training to improve their knowledge in disability awareness, customer service and safeguarding.
- The final stage is our ongoing relationship with drivers. Our dedicated driver support team is on hand to listen to drivers’ needs and support them throughout their time with Addison Lee.
Our approach to safety goes beyond the basics set out by TfL. We do more because safety is not a tick box exercise. It is an understanding between us and our passengers. Our safety commitment to you, your colleagues and your loved ones every time you get into one of our vehicles.
Head of Regulatory and External Affairs