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Notice 06/12: Updated information for all Private Hire Drivers and Operators

17/04/2012

Transport for London
London Taxi and Private Hire

Further to TPH notice 05/12 issued on Sunday 15 April 2012 with information for private hire drivers and operators, TfL can confirm that an interim injunction to order Addison Lee plc to withdraw the letter issued to drivers has been applied for. This letter was issued by a director of Addison Lee plc to its PHV drivers in which he stated (among other things) that they were “fully entitled to use the bus lanes” and that he would indemnify them in respect of fines and other liabilities incurred as a result of following his advice.

TfL’s application was made on Monday 16 April, and a hearing is set to take place on Monday 23 April.

Under current regulations it is illegal for London private hire vehicles (PHVs) to drive in Bus Lanes operated by Transport for London (TfL) and London Local Authorities except when picking up and setting down passengers.

As regulatory authority for taxis and PHVs in London, TfL considers the decision to issue this letter inciting drivers to break the law is irresponsible.

TfL will review the fitness of the PHV licence holder to continue holding its licence.

TfL and the Police have and will continue to monitor the use of Bus Lanes by Addison Lee and other licensed PHV drivers. We are pleased to note that contraventions have so far been minimal. However, those PHV drivers that were contravening the regulations other than to set down and pick up passengers will be subject to further action. Wilful criminal behaviour is viewed with the utmost concern.

TfL hereby reminds all licensed PHV drivers in London:

Under current regulations, driving a PHV in a Bus Lane, during the hours when the Bus Lane is operative (and other than to pick up and set down passengers) is a criminal offence for which PHV drivers may be personally prosecuted. Those regulations remain valid until and unless there is a court order suspending their effect. There has been no such court order. This means that, as a PHV driver, you must not drive in Bus Lanes other than to pick up and set down passengers.

If you do so, you will be committing a criminal offence and you will be personally liable to prosecution, irrespective of any indemnity which anyone else may purport to give.

TfL has power to suspend or revoke a PHV operator’s or driver’s licence if it is no longer satisfied that the licence holder is fit to hold such a licence.

Please take note that:

Drivers who repeatedly contravene traffic regulations, including by intentionally driving in Bus Lanes, other than to pick up or set down passengers, may be considered unfit to hold a PHV driver’s licence; and operators who encourage such conduct may be considered unfit to hold a PHV operator’s licence.

TfL requests operators to bring this notice to the attention of all their PHV drivers.

If you have any questions with regards to the contents of this notice, or you require advice or guidance then please contact us directly via tphenquiries@tfl.gov.uk or 0845 602 7000.

John Mason
Director,Taxi and Private Hire

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