Addison Lee buys ComCab, creating “the biggest Private Hire & Taxi Company” in the nation’s capital.
Addison Lee is acquiring black taxi operator ComCab. This is huge news for those in the private hire and the taxi industry. Once the deal is done, the business will have a combined fleet of 7,000 vehicles. Alongside the London operations of CamCab, Addison Lee are purchasing City Fleet Networks and Flightlink International.
Addison Lee has said that customers will be able to book car, taxi and courier services all from one platform, similar to the current offering from FREENOW. CityFleet boss Rudan Tan says that their merger with Addison Lee gives customers a greater choice of transport options, and drivers access to a ‘growing pool of customers and opportunities to work’.
Already providing transport to 80% of FTSE 100 firms, the private hire powerhouse now oversees 7,000 vehicles in London. The firm believes it has consolidated its position as “the market leader in corporate ground transport” and become the capital’s London’s “largest same day courier business.”
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In a statement, Addison Lee’s CEO Liam Griffin has acknowledged that once upon a time Addison Lee and Black Taxis were seen as rivals. He believes that ComCab and Addison Lee have more in common than divides them, seeing them as the most ‘most professional companies in our sectors who share the same focus on the quality of service, the customers we serve and the importance of the drivers’.
He lauds Black Cabs as the ‘benchmark’ that Addison Lee has always held itself to.
Griffin believes that Addison’s Lee’s merger will usher in a new age for private hire in our capital city. With restrictions looking to lift completely on 19th July, the public will have the ‘safety, premium quality, and professional service’ of the two largest private hire and taxi companies in the city.
If what the CEO says is true, Addison Lee will have the opportunity to represent the gold standard of the trade. Many believe that this deal will arm Addison Lee in its ‘battle against Uber’ for customers on the streets of London. If Addison Lee and ComCab genuinely offer a higher standard of service, they will undoubtedly inspire loyalty in the general public.
However, knowing that both companies answer to one master does, however, mean that each and every driver will be required to uphold standards. With the introduction of electric black cabs and wider environmental measures being made to any industry centered around cars, the government may also expect larger companies like Addison Lee to lead the way in terms of introducing low emission vehicles.
The effect that this purchase has on drivers remains to be seen. It will be interesting to observe what changes it will make to the life of Hackney Carriage drivers. And also whether they will be happy to be part of a private hire conglomerate that was once their nemesis?