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Visit to Addison Lee

Discussion in 'Commuting' started by her_welshness, 18 Oct 2011.

  1. Bromptonaut

    Bromptonaut Rohan Man

    Bugbrooke UK

    Cabs are different as they can ply the streets for hire.

    The subject of this tread is a Private Hire company whose cars only available for pre booking -different regulatory regime.
  2. bryce

    bryce Senior Member

    London, SW10
    I use AddLee quite a lot (mainly because I can't stand the bad attitude and sloth-like demeanour of black cab drivers) and find their drivers are like a box of chocolates. Some of them are excellent, polite and well mannered on the roads. The others, who usually can hardly speak a word of English, are terrible, stopping in ASL's flashing headlights at people and being aggressive.

    I have taken a few drivers to task and usually they're pretty receptive to criticism.

    Overall I think they're a lot better than black cabs, who I find the most dangerous drivers in London.
  3. Dan B

    Dan B Improper cyclist

  4. Bromptonaut

    Bromptonaut Rohan Man

    Bugbrooke UK

    By badged I meant branded/liveried.

    The taxi/private hire/minicab thing can get complicated and varies by LA. Here we have:
    • Hackney carriages (taxis). Licensed by the Council to be hailed on street, fares charged by meter at set rates.
    • Private Hire. Licensed by the Council for pre booked only but still fitted with meters
    • Minicabs. Not regulated very much at all - fares agreed for journey.
    Not sure it's the same in London but the Private Hire disc/badge in the window is an innovation in the last 10 years.
  5. Red Light

    Red Light Guest

    The OP hasn't been seen here since the planned visit to AL yesterday. You don't think they locked her up in a cupboard at HQ by any chance?
  6. LazyCat

    LazyCat Active Member

    We may have to assemble a rescue party [​IMG]
  7. ianrauk

    ianrauk Tattooed Beat Messiah

    By all account's she had a very good meeting and will report back in due course.
  8. DCLane

    DCLane Found in the Yorkshire hills ...

    Maybe she's been given a taxi home?
  9. frank9755

    frank9755 Cyclist

    West London
    I look forward to hearing what she found out. Like others, I've long regarded the Addison Lee logo as akin to the mark of the devil.

    However, I did once, about ten years ago, call them to complain after being almost run over on a pedestrian crossing by one of their motorbikes. They dealt with that satisfactorily, contacting the driver and getting back to me.
  10. ianrauk

    ianrauk Tattooed Beat Messiah

    I've read a quick summary of her meeting and there are some very interesting points. She shouldn't be too long posting it up.
  11. jonny jeez

    jonny jeez Veteran

  12. mr_cellophane

    mr_cellophane Über Member

    He has asked for vids of the best AL drivers. So that must mean "not the worst"
  13. jonny jeez

    jonny jeez Veteran

    no I he has told us he will upload footage of the best driving evidence.

    watch this space...
  14. LazyCat

    LazyCat Active Member

    " I'll update the channel every day with the very best evidence of great driving" [my bold]

    That would be quite an achievement.
  15. jonny jeez

    jonny jeez Veteran

    that it would...
  16. Jezston

    Jezston Über Member

    I like the profile pic!

    But seriously, parked the wrong way on a double yellow in a mandatory cycle lane. They may as well change their name from Addison Lee to 'F*** You'.
  17. her_welshness

    her_welshness Well-Known Member


    Slut of a librarian

    Re: Addison Lee Visit
    « Reply #25 on: Yesterday at 09:16:53 PM »
    Right, this is my report (sorry it is rambling)

    Part 1:

    I cycled up to Warren Street for my visit to Addison Lee's Offices. No cycle parking round there so had to lock my bike onto some school railings.

    Some starting statistics: They process over 140,000 jobs a week. They have 3,000 vehicles on the road and they are just nearing 1,000 drivers.

    Call signs:
    Oscar = New Driver.
    N = Worked for Addison Lee before; returning driver.
    Victor = Delivery Driver

    I met up with their Marketing Director ( a lovely chap and keen cyclist) who explained that after a tour of the offices that I would be joning 7 new recruits (drivers) followed by a meeting with him and another Director (who is the son of the owner). The offices are varying levels of each facet of the firm: the main control room with their call staff replete with an in-house creche (hence lots of children running around which was fab). This was where I got to meet a member of the Driving Liaison Team who showed me their database. As I am a librarian I loved this bit. Each driver has a call sign and they have a history on there (they did a random example of a couple of their drivers). I will come to that a bit later. I think that they try to run everything in-house: IT, Insurance, Recruitment, the Workshop where every car is serviced after 5,000 miles.

    A lovely man called John who was looking after the new recruits escorted us all to the Driver training school, right next to Euston
    Station. So for the next two hours I sat in on the driving training course.

    The instructor (employed by the firm) took the drivers through the objectives of the course and introduced the drivers to a series of videos
    After each section of the video we observed what we had seen and we completed each section of the quiz we were given. To me this was an excellent way of running the course as it was instilling into the drivers key facets of their role: customer service, drivers bag and manual, checking condition of vehicle, performance, how the XDA worked and how they communicated with their customers and the main office (Control and Driving Liaison).

    He explained right at the start that in the 1st week he (the ADI) would call in anyone that he had concerns about. After 4 weeks the new
    recruits would be called in for further training. If still not going well, the drivers would be repeatedly called back in. He then asked them to characterise their performance and come up with an overall assessment of the journeys they have completed. The ADI man was lovely but you would not want to cross sword with him. A tough cookie.

    In the break I noticed that there were rooms next door where people appeared to be studying. I asked our course instructor, Ray, about it and he showed me into these rooms. This was the Knowledge Centre where they were all studying 'The Knowledge' which is Addison Lee's own version of the Hackney Carriage Scheme (sorry folks if I don't get the vernacular right). This is tutored by the ex-control and ex-drivers of the firm and they pore over large maps of London with their students and plot routes. Their argument is that the more they study of London the more they will gain confidence in their driving and their routing.

    With regards to working hours, if they do more than 10 hours then they will be logged off the system automatically. This is because people have been caught sleeping in their cars and for their firm it is a no-no. They also went into the psychology of driving and ultimately recognising when you are tired.

    They also covered how the driver should be driving (in a smooth and courteous manner) and not to park on box junctions etc. Use your mirrors at all times. They can pick up from a bus lane but they cannot wait there. Ray asked them to think about other road users, including motorcyclists and cyclists. I don't know whether that last bit was for my benefit!

    When an accident does occur (Addison Lee have 2 crashes a day on average) they have to fill out an accident report form and take photos. Drivers should have their own breakdown service and they book it with their own fleet department. They have to report all incidents, because as the course leader said it could cause problems later.

    They also have women drivers (I think that someone was asking that question).

    They are not allowed to use their mobile phones during the day, unless there is an emergency i.e if their XDA or Radio are not working.

    After the course I was escorted back by John who showed me around more areas of Addison Lee. I don't think I have met a more
    enthusiastic person before. I was then passed back to the Marketing Director and the son of the owner, a lovely man named Kieran.

    Part 2 - Disciplinary Procedures & Outcomes (coming soon)
  18. her_welshness

    her_welshness Well-Known Member

    Doing this from my shitty iPhone
  19. jonny jeez

    jonny jeez Veteran

  20. jonny jeez

    jonny jeez Veteran

    Not to remove from the positive approach that Al are taking (Which I commend fully) but it does sound like much of their training goes out the window when the drivers hit the road.

    Every AL cab (at least it feel like every) I've ever ridden in had a driver with an earpeice in and much of the time they were on the phone...not the radio or company system. I once listened in whilst the driver sorted out his car insurance with Churchill insurance.

    they clearly dont drive in a smooth fashion nor use their mirrors (or indicators come to that) very often.

    Interested to read the disciplinary instalment.

    Good work!!