Tag Archive TfL


Changing private-hire perceptions: Justin Patterson – Fleet World

Current Eco Superstar winner at this year’s Great British Fleet Awards, Justin Patterson surprised everyone this summer after leaving Addison Lee to join Splend as their UK country manager.

Addison Lee's former head of fleet operations Justin Patterson is one of a number of senior hires announced by newly relocated firm Splend

Addison Lee’s former head of fleet operations Justin Patterson is one of a number of senior hires announced by newly relocated firm Splend

Splend, is an Australian-founded business supplying cars to drivers working for on-line cab companies such as Uber.

The company, which is now based in London at a new Cricklewood HQ, doesn’t just supply cars to these on-demand drivers, it can also fix all the necessary financing, insurance and maintenance.

After just over a couple of months in his new role, Martyn Collins spoke to Justin to discuss his plans.

Can you give any idea of your short and long-term plans in your new role and for the company?

“We’re focused on growing rapidly in London and expanding to cities around the UK in the months ahead. We have a dedicated team that’s been assessing metropolitan areas around the country with a specific criteria, from the Midlands to the South West, as well as the North East and the North West.

“In London we’ve established a 2,300 square metre facility in Cricklewood where members collect their cars, catch up with their personal account manager, receive training and join community events. We plan to replicate this model in other cities, as we continue this mission to take the hassle away from on-demand drivers and support them so that they can get more out of the job.

“Splend chose to relocate its HQ from Australia, where the company was founded, to the UK where the on-demand market is booming, making it the ideal launchpad for global expansion.”

 You won our Eco Superstar award at the Great British Fleet event this year, whilst working for Addison Lee, will you be using elements of the same environmental framework at Splend?

“We fully support the move to ultra-low emissions and improve air quality, so we provide all Splend members with more eco-friendly vehicles that are also more affordable.

“Today, this is of course plug-in hybrid models, and we’re looking ahead to more viable electric vehicles coming onto the market and the right infrastructure being put in place to support them.”

Private hire drivers play a key role in end-to-end transportation, which is becoming more and more important – how at Splend do you plan to capitalise on this?  

“It’s an exciting time in the industry, particularly for data-driven companies. We’re using our technology and analytics to make the job work for on-demand drivers, rather than the other way around.

“The car ownership model has of course shifted quite rapidly in recent years – and consumer behaviour in the on-demand market has changed considerably to increase demand.

“Services like Uber are growing exponentially here in the UK and around the world. It represents a huge opportunity for all of us operating in this market, which will only continue to increase in the years ahead.”

Splend is new to the UK, how do you plan to get the message out to private hire drivers?

“We are a preferred partner with Uber, and our marketing strategy is multi-channel by default. However, we believe the best endorsement comes from our current customers – word of mouth testimonials prove the most valuable.

“As a result of our approach we’ve generated a strong net promoter score – a testament to the strong customer relationships we’ve built.”

There’s still an image problem with private hire drivers – more so since the launch of Uber. With the recent London licence renewal in the news, how do you and Splend seek to improve this? 

“Splend ensures all of our members know how to operate professionally in London and provide all the backup and tools to do this. The industry is also leading the way in providing new ultra-low emissions into the city.”


Addison Lee lenders ‘circle’ taxi giant as sale effort continues

Addison Lee has insisted it expects “a successful conclusion” to the “ongoing” sale process despite reports that its lenders are preparing to take control of the London taxi company.

It could see the company, which is owned by US buyout firm Carlyle, fall into administration as reported exclusively by Cab4Now.com on 8th February 2019.

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The £1 sale of Addison Lee – Cab4Now February 2019 EXCLUSIVE – is now very likely!

Lenders to Addison Lee are preparing to seize control of London’s second-biggest minicab company as part of a looming restructuring that could see it forced into administration as predicted exclusively at Cab4Now.com on 8th February 2019. 

We can now reveal that a syndicate of more than a dozen banks led by the Dutch financial giant ING have drafted in advisers from Alvarez & Marsal (A&M) to consider their options amid a protracted auction of the taxi giant.

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Immense joins Addison Lee programme to improve fleet efficiency

Global premium car service company Addison Lee Group and Immense, the intelligent mobility simulation provider, have announced it has launched a new partnership. 

The partnership is under mVentures, Addison Lee Group’s innovation programme, and will use simulation to explore more efficient and environmentally friendly ways of getting drivers and customers to where they need to be.

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Carlyle aims to sell Addison Lee before debt deadline

Carlyle has instructed advisers to sell taxi business Addison Lee by early next year as the private equity firm seeks to avoid a debt restructuring or extension.

Addison Lee confirmed on Monday that banks were carrying out an “evaluation of our future capital structure”, focused on an “ongoing sales process”. Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Rothschild are advising.

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Charging ‘remains biggest challenge’ for electric vehicles

A trial of five Audi e-tron SUVs is helping Addison Lee Group take significant steps towards its aim of a zero emissions-capable fleet by 2022. They are the first electric cars the private hire company has taken on and it is using the pilot scheme to gain operational insights into their real-world performance.

“There has been a lot of effort going into our fleet roadmap of how we are going to meet our 2022 objective,” says Paul McCabe, innovation director at Addison Lee Group, which has a fleet of 5,000 vehicles.

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