John Griffin describes deaths and serious injuries among London cyclists as inevitable and mainly the fault of untrained riders
The head of one of the UK's biggest minicab companies, Addison Lee, has been in the spotlight for the last few weeks. Firstly, John Griffin caused outrage amongst cyclists by instructed his taxi drivers to use bus lanes in the capital, an announcement that was also condemned by Transport for London.
Now, he has come out with controversial remarks regarding cyclists, with which he describes deaths and serious injuries among city cyclists as inevitable, and suggesting that they are basically cyclists' own fault.
Writing in the latest edition of Add Lib - his company's in-house magazine - Griffin said: "This summer the roads will be thick with bicycles."
According to him "These cyclists are throwing themselves on to some of the most congested spaces in the world. They leap on to a vehicle which offers them no protection except a padded plastic hat.
"Should a motorist fail to observe a granny wobbling to avoid a pothole or a rain drain, then he is guilty of failing to anticipate that this was somebody on her maiden voyage into the abyss. The fact is he just didn't see her and however cautious, caring or alert he is, the influx of beginner cyclists is going to lead to an overall increase in accidents involving cyclists."
London Cycling Campaign (LCC) states on their website that Griffin's article is "a deeply unpleasant and ill-informed column which appears to say it's acceptable to run over people on bikes because they're probably 'beginner cyclists'."
Only last year sixteen cyclists were killed on London roads, but there is little evidence to prove that they were due to poor cycling. LCC says that "it appears from the article that Griffin is prepared to deliberately infest his whole company with anti-cyclist sentiment, putting the lives of Londoners at greater risk."
Griffin's article, however, wasn't only addressed at cyclists' aptitudes, but it also demanded that they have to pay to use the roads.
"The rest of us occupying this road space have had to undergo extensive training. We are sitting inside a protected space with impact bars and air bags and paying extortionate amounts of taxes on our vehicle purchase, parking, servicing, insurance and road tax," Griffin wrote.
"It is time for us to say to cyclists, 'You want to join our gang, get trained and pay up'," he concluded.
It would be interesting to hear what Boris Johnson - a cycling advocate and a rider himself - has to say about the matter. Particularly when we know that Griffin gave him a £25,000 campaign donation that helped him win the London Mayor's office in 2008.
|Comments||Post a comment|
Be the first to comment on this.
Addison Lee's chairman tells drivers to defy bus lane law, adding pressure on cyclists.
|Cyclists to dominate the streets of London|
|The Black Shadow|
|Bicycle-Cafés; the new trend?|
|Think once, Think Twice, Think Bike!|
|Should taking a cycling proficiency test form part of a driving license?|
|A royal bike tour...|
|On 'ya' bike!|
|Vintage look, technology at its best!|
|Biker subculture: a way to say NO|
|Ducati and the little red key|
|Harley's banned in Spain for being too American|
|The lightest bikes|
|The UK on a bicycle: the National Cycle Network|
|The Triumph Scrambler|
|Cycling in Dubai|
|London Cycling Campaign distributes twenty grants of £5,000 to fund activities that encourage cycling in the capital.|
|So, does the Cycling Proficiency test still exist? I decided to find out.|
|The rate of injuries resulting from cycling in London has increased by 13% in the last three years.|