BikeBiz.com has seen emails from the Cabinet Office which confirms that minicab company Addison Lee is to soon lose its contract with the Government for private car hire.
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 to freelance journalist Marcus Williamson and said he had been working on the Addison Lee case "as a matter of urgency."
The loss of a lucrative and high-profile contract (culture secretary Jeremy Hunt was seen getting into an Addison Lee car on TV news yesterday) will be a blow to the PLC run by John Griffin. And it’s the second set-back in a day: earlier today the verdict was released from a High Court case which had seen Transport for London seek injunctive relief to prevent Addison Lee from encouraging its "self-employed" drivers from entering bus lanes illegally.
Cyclists have been critical of Addison Lee – via social media – because the company’s drivers are seen as some of the most aggressive in London, and their appearance in bus lanes is far from welcome. John Griffin has come in for personal criticism because of his calls for cyclists to pay (non-existent) ‘road tax’ and for his views, captured on video, showing that he believes it’s cyclists who should look out for motorists having "lapses of concentration" rather than motorists not having such lapses of concentration in the first place.
The Government’s Chief Procurement Officer, John Collington told Williamson:
"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 16,000 clients on its books, including many of the top FTSE 100 corporations. By encouraging his drivers to flout the law, and by appearing on the media blaming cyclists for deaths and injuries caused by motorists, Griffin has alienated many influential people and it’s likely that many of his clients have terminated their accounts. With the Government now openly admitting it is to terminate its contract, many companies may follow suit.