Private taxi and hire companies making a fortune during strike days is an “urban myth”, according to Addison Lee’s chief executive Liam Griffin.
“We don’t surge in the way Uber does,” Griffin told City A.M. “We continue to charge the same rates we would on any given day.”
The comments come as thousands of rail and tube workers are set to walk out in the first week of November.
Members of the union RMT working at 14 train operators are expected to walk out over salaries on 3 and 5 November, alongside strikes at Network Rail as well as Overground and Underground services.
The chief executive said that high levels of demand were offset by increased congestion, making drivers less likely to go out as they can’t do as many trips as they would on a normal day.
Addison Lee has therefore applied a £5 additional charge for journeys to incentivise drivers to show up during strike days.
The company said that the charge – 100 per cent of which goes to drivers – was introduced after the last tube strike.
“By encouraging as many partner drivers to work as possible, we can fulfil more important journeys and help keep London moving,” he said.
Addison Lee – which like many others has been affected by labour shortages – strives to guarantee optimal working conditions to its staff.
“Our driver deal provides drivers with a guaranteed Living Wage, holiday pay and access to an industry leading pension, without compromising on the flexibility they tell us they want,” Griffin concluded.
“It also protects the self-employed status of partner drivers, who consistently tell us they prefer the freedom and flexibility to work on their own terms.”
The private hire firm recently made the headlines when it announced its new partnership with EV charging provider bp pulse.
As part of the deal, Addison Lee – which has pledged to transition to all-electric by 2023 – will get access to 3,000 ultra-fast charging points across bp’s London network.