NOEL'S CHEEKY TAXI- SUNDAY MIRROR- NEWSPAPER EXCLUSIVE- OCTOBER 2009

This story revealed how Noel Edmond's had bought a black cab to miss the traffic queues.


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NABBED: Edmonds drives his unlicensed taxi cab ILLEGALLY in bus lane

Noel Edmunds' Taxi (Pic: Neil Atkinson)

Here's Noel Edmonds pulling a fast one... driving along a bus lane in his very own taxi.

The Deal Or No Deal star bought it for a few hundred pounds so he does not have to crawl through rush-hour traffic like other frustrated motorists.

But Noel could soon be picking up 60-a-time fines every time he slips into a bus lane.

For only LICENSED taxis can use bus lanes at any time - and Noel's has not been registered since 2007

He's also added a jokey message, Action Against Time Thieves on the taxi's pretend cabbie plate, making clear his feelings about traffic jams.

Staff at the Bristol studios where Deal or No Deal is filmed say Noel, who is worth more than 70million, only bought the taxi to cut the fivemile journey to and from his 2m mansion in Gloucestershire.

"He's quite blatant about using the bus lanes," said a show insider. "It's not as if he just dips in and out of the bus lanes, he drives in them whenever he can, and only joins normal traffic if there isn't one. He looks a bit like a cabbie by wrapping up in a scarf and fleece, always pulling both of the taxi visors down and wearing a pair of sunglasses."

On three days last week, we caught Edmonds, 60, driving in bus lanes FOUR TIMES, which could have cost him 240 in potential fines. In fact he barely ever drove in the same lanes as other cars.

On Tuesday night Edmonds left work at the studio just after 6pm. As soon as he turned on to the main road he dipped straight into a bus lane. Clearly visible signs show the lane should only be used by buses until 6.30pm, although taxis, scooters and cyclists can also use them.

When the lane ended Edmonds had to sit in traffic for a quarter of a mile on the A4 on his way home as there were no bus lanes. But as soon as the next one appeared he nipped into it, even though it was banned to private cars 24 hours a day.

On Wednesday evening Edmonds again drove in the bus lane with the 24-hour-a-day ban. On Thursday Edmonds left home at 8.10am and drove to work using another bus lane closed to normal traffic from 7am to 10am. A spokesman for the Licensed Taxi Drivers' Association said: "Someone who has got a fake licence as a joke is not committing any crime.

"But if it's done with the intention to deceive, that's an offence. Edmonds would have incurred a 60 fine each time he went in a bus lane, and seems to be driving a very old taxi not worth more than 200.Licensed taxi drivers don't drive them any more because they belched out so much pollution, unless the engine is rebuilt."

Edmonds is said to earn 3m a year for Deal or No Deal and is renowned for his love of fast cars and dislike of authority. In 2006 he ran into trouble after boasting how he drove at 186mph while in the nude. More recently he said he had refused to pay his TV licence fee in protest at the BBC's TV licence advertising campaign.

In July he married his third wife, make-up artist Liz Davies Last night Noel's spokesman admitted he did drive a cab in bus lanes but did so as part of a one-man crusade against time-wasters.

He said: "The licence plate says Action Against Time-Thieves and Noel believes that bus lanes are one way it happens.

"Noel doesn't pick up fares, although a lady did once try to get into the cab at the local rail station and was very surprised."

The number on the hackney carriage licence - 6106 - was the date he met wife Liz, on January 6, 2006, and was not an attempt to pass himself off as a genuine cabbie.

He added that Noel had never received a bus lane fine , but if he did he would "look very hard at it".



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