Minicab firm Addison Lee has had its appeal to use London’s bus lanes rejected by the high court.

The private hire firm challenged Transport for London on its policy to make bus lanes available to black cabs but not to other forms of taxi following a public flouting of the rule by founder and chairman John Griffin.

Speaking at the hearing, Mr Justice Burton referred to TfL’s existing policy as “obvious and compelling. There is to my mind a clear distinction between the need of black cabs for them to be in the bus lanes, by way of visibility and availability of, and access to, black cabs for those hailing a cruising taxi. Minicabs just do not have the need to use the bus lane, and black cabs do.”

Addison Lee said TfL’s policy was “anti-competitive” and discriminating. It also claimed that it hampered the ability of EU nationals to establish themselves as minicab drivers and discriminating, and vowed to continue the battle with TfL.

“We are extremely disappointed with today’s judgment,” said Griffin.

“The current bus lane legislation is anti-competitive and unfairly discriminates against millions of Londoners who use private hire vehicles every day.”

“There is no reason for black taxis to have a monopoly on bus lanes – we should either all be in or all be out,” Griffin continued.

“We still believe that the current legislation is a breach of the EU and UK law. You can’t discriminate between two types of taxis and we will continue to fight this injustice.”

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