Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Taxi dependency

Black cab driver in the ASL, Russell Square, WC1

The car supremacist culture at the BBC makes perfect sense when you look at its management.

In the short period July-September 2009, senior managers at the BBC claimed expenses for

more than £70,000 on flights and almost £40,000 on taxis.

Alan Yentob, the BBC’s creative director, spent £1,773 on taxis and Caroline Thomson, the chief operating officer, claimed £2,849.

And BBC Director General Mark Thompson

enjoyed free days out at the British Grand Prix


A FORMER BBC boss who now chairs the Arts Council enjoyed a taxpayer-funded £431 taxi ride home from a night celebrating Shakespeare’s birthday.

Dame Liz Forgan was driven back from the performance at Stratford-upon-Avon to her London home at a cost of more than £4 a mile to the arts quango, which received £436m of government funding last year.

The cab ride is one of dozens of expense claims made at the council by Forgan and her predecessor, Sir Christopher Frayling, in 2008-9, a period when the council was slashing funding, or removing it altogether from more than 200 arts organisations.


claimed £460.72 to be driven to and from Glyndebourne opera house in East Sussex in August 2008. A first-class return from London to Lewes, the local station, is £41.50, less than a tenth of the cost of Frayling’s car journey.