26th April 2012

TfL fails in its bid to silence Addison Lee over bus lanes

Transport for London has been forced to abandon its application for a mandatory injunction requiring Addison Lee and its chairman John Griffin to withdraw their letter to drivers stating that they are entitled to drive in London bus lanes and to send out a further letter instructing them not to do so.

Mr Justice Eder, who handed down judgment today following a High Court hearing on Monday 23 April 2012, has instead confirmed that it is for drivers to choose whether or not they drive in bus lanes pending the resolution of Addison Lee’s legal challenge to the validity of the bus lane legislation.

The judge noted Addison Lee’s argument that the bus lane legislation as it stands constitutes “flagrant discrimination in favour of black cabs” and against private hire vehicles and that this “gave black cabs a significant unfair competitive advantage causing [private hire vehicle] drivers significant loss”.  The Judge recognised the urgency of the problem by ordering that Addison Lee’s claim should be expedited so that it is determined by the High Court before the Olympic Games.

In the meantime, the Court has confirmed that it would be entirely lawful for Addison Lee to decide, after any fine has been imposed on a driver for driving in a bus lane, to reimburse that driver in respect of the fine should it wish to do so.

John Griffin, chairman of Addison Lee said: “This is a great start to our campaign to challenge the unfair bus lane legislation. We hope to fully overturn the legislation to offer faster journey times to our customers and to offer a competitive transport service during the Olympic Games.”

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