Addison Lee drivers - is it just me?

I seem to have consistently found that Addison Lee people carrier drivers are some of most aggressive and intolerant to cyclists. I've had Addison Lee drivers squeeze my space, give abuse when I'm in their way in a priority position, and drive close by me at high speeds.

I was wondering if anyone else had noticed this behaviour from Addison Lee drivers or if I've just been unlucky.

On a similar note, I have found that black cabs and London bus drivers are very aware and considerate of drivers in 99% of cases. I am always very impressed by these professional drivers.


Well, it has to be subjective, but I have had good and bad experience of all! What's certain is that whoever licences professional drivers in London doesn't give a vote whether they abuse ASLs and pavements, or are exemplar promoters of the Highway Code.
  • By Austen at 6:05am 9 June 2011
Haven't had this problem myself, but doesn't mean that it is only you. According to their website, "All drivers are fully trained at the Addison Lee Driver Training School ... Addison Lee has won several environmental awards for showing exemplary environmental management". Perhaps some politely worded correspondence with the company's founder and MD, John Griffin, would open up dialogue about driver / cyclist relations, and how they might be improved.
  • By idavid at 6:33am 9 June 2011
+1 to frequent close calls with AL vehicles. Better not stereotype, but I bet most of their drivers have scant experience of riding a bike in traffic. LCC should suggest that the "Addison Lee Driver Training School" start an Exchanging Places course like LB Lambeth. Time spent cycling in traffic is the best way to change driver behaviour. Until cycling becomes part of the driving test, that is.
There is correspondence on a Yahoo list on this Company, too. I have flagged there that this stream is live.
  • By gegi at 2:11pm 10 June 2011
I think Addison Lee are very prominent and stand out, which is why you may percieve them to be worse than others. I think all this has to do with two problems: 1. (Mini) cabs, delivery vans etc. all work on the basis that the faster they drive the more work they get done, the more money they make. So it is not surprising that they stop whereever they feel like it. (But I can't explain the ASL issue) 2. They have no knowledge/awareness/care about cycling. Ask most drivers if they know what a mandatory cycle lane means. 'Professionsl' drivers undergo an impressive amount of checks and tests, yet I'm not sure how much cyclist awareness is included. The first one is difficult to tackle but the second one is dead easy if authorities wanted to. G.
  • By PaulM at 2:15pm 12 June 2011

I can't say I've noticed AL drivers are significantly worse than others, notably black cabbies. Having been inside AL cars any number of times (my employer requires we use them in lieu of black cabs for journeys from the office) I know that the drivers are quite aggressive towards any other road user - it's not just cyclists, although from the saddle it will feel that way. I thik the drivers have a fairly rudimentary knowledge of London's streets, compared with a black cabbie, and they rely on satnav most of the time, which doesn't help.

As for cabbies, I find they are quite reasonable when they have a fare - they probably don't want to look an arse in front of a passenger, and wouldn't want a conrfontation which might lead to the fare walking away. When they are running for hire, however, they are quite a different proposition. One cabbie got really nasty with me in the City when my Brompton front bag brushed his wing - it's cloth for chrissake, it might polish his paintwork but it won't scratch it!

In any case, there are way too many cabbies in London - time to start restricting their numbers. There can be 4-5,000 of them trawling the City of London alone, a significant proportion empty, churing out their PM10s to no useful purpose. They also line up outside my office at the rank, engines idling and yet more PM10s.


  • By JHW at 4:50pm 12 June 2011
It is all too easy to point a finger of blame at a lot because of the reckless actions of a few. I am however very watchful round AL liveried cars. I tend to be nervous of black cabs as well. However what I would rather do is sing the praises of the drivers of London buses. I feel pretty confident when i'm cycling near a bus. This is the only generic group I feel able to make such a comment about.

This content was deleted by StewartP at 12:59pm 13 June 2011.

Yes I think AL have overtaken black cabs as the most inconsiderate drivers. They never seem to respect the cycle priority boxes, they give me no chance to get rolling when I pull away and pass too close and too fast.

 I will be sending any video footage I get to AL and the police.

Have a look at these two motorcyclists abusing a cycle superhighway. One of them works for guess who....


hollowaytyre  ... no its not just you A.L. suck

I also feel that Addison Lee drivers are far more aggressive to cyclists than other cabs. Black cabs do tend to make quick manoeuvres which can mean you have to react quickly but I rarely feel unsafe around them. With Addison Lee cars their behaviour feels actively aggressive towards cyclists. Maybe it's something to do with the companies management and leadership ...

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