Taxi firm boss demands that cyclists pay road tax

Taxi firm boss demands that cyclists pay road taxPA

The chairman of Addison Lee, which is one of Britain's biggest taxi firms, has said that he thinks cyclists should pay for the privilege of using the roads, just as motorists do.

The Daily Mail reports that John Griffin, writing in his company's magazine Add Lib, said: "Green Party candidates and others are up in arms about what they see as the murder of cyclists in London Roads."

He said that this summer the "roads will be thick with bicycles", and added: "These cyclists are throwing themselves onto some of the most congested spaces in the world.

"They leap onto 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 rain drain, then he is guilty of failing to anticipate that this was somebody on her maiden voyage into the abyss.

"The fact that 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."

He added: "The rest of us occupying this roadspace 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.

"It's time for us to say to cyclists, "'You want to join our gang, get trained and pay up'."

In an exclusive blog for the Huffington Post UK, Mr Griffin stands by what he says.

He writes: "In the article I argue for compulsory training and insurance for London's bicycle owners and I still stand by my contention. About one cyclists is killed on London's roads every month and countless others horribly injured. If the article causes debate around cycle safety, and perhaps saves some lives, bring it on."

However, cycling campaigners have been angered by his comments.

A spokesman for the London Cycling Campaign said, "Addison Lee already has a very poor reputation among cyclists, with its drivers being frequently accused of inconsiderate or dangerous behaviour on the road."

Cycling campaigners, who accuse Mr Griffin of putting his own profit above the safety of cyclists and pedestrians, plan to stage a mass 'die-in' protest outside the company's offices tomorrow.

Click on the image below to find out if you can guess the 2012 Olympics venues...

London Olympics 2012: Guess the venue
See Gallery
Taxi firm boss demands that cyclists pay road tax

The Prime Minister will have a prime view of the Beach Volleyball competition, which will take place in a specially created temporary arena, complete with sand. But where is it? 

Beach Volleyball will take place at Horse Guards Parade, the usual home of the Trooping of the Colour which happens every year on the Queen's official birthday. Wonder if she'll be watching the Volleyball?

The London 2012 Triathlon will take place here, as will the Marathon Swimming. It's a park within easy reach of the West End, and it has been open to the public since 1637, but any ideas which park it is?

The Marathon Swimming and Triathlon events will take place at Hyde Park, the largest of the Royal London parks.

Around 20,000 broadcasters, photographers and journalists are expected to be working from here, at the 24-hour media hub from which the Games will be shared with an estimated four billion people worldwide. But where will they all fit?

The International Broadcast Centre is situated in the north-west of the Olympic Park, which is located to the east of the city, adjacent to the Stratford City development. After the Games, the park will be known as Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, to commemorate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. 

Opened in 2011, the venue for the canoe slalem can be found in Hertfordshire, and is the only London 2012 venue which the public can use before the Olympic Games begin. What's it called?

Lee Valley White Water Centre, on the edge of the 1,000 acre River Lee Country Park, will host the Canoe Slalom competition. Two new canoe slalom course have been built, and a 10,000 square metre lake feeds a system of pumps that provide the 300 metre course with 15 cubic metres of water per second.

Originally built for the Millennium celebrations, this well-known London landmark will host Artistic Gymnastics, Basketball, Trampoline and, during the Paralympic Games, Wheelchair Basketball. It sits on the point of the Greenwich peninsula, right on the Meridian Line. But what is it?

The O2 Arena, also known as the North Greenwich Arena or the Millennium Dome, will host a number of events during the London 2012 Olympics, including Wheelchair Basketball during the Paralympics.

This distinctive building will be the venue for Shooting, Paralympic Shooting, and Paralympic Archery during the London 2012 Games. It's located on the edge of Woolwich Common in south east London, close to the World Heritage Site of Greenwich Park. But where is it?

The Royal Artillery Barracks will host the Shooting, Paralympic Shooting and Paralympic Archery events. Four temporary indoor ranges will be built for Pistol and Rifle Shooting, with outdoor shotgun ranges for Trap and Skeet events. 

This well-known exhibition centre - one of Europe's largest - will host a total of 143 sessions in five arenas across a wide range of sports, including boxing, fencing and judo. But what's it called?

The ExCel Exhibition Centre in London's Docklands.

This will be the venue for Swimming, Paralympic Swimming, Diving, Synchronised Swimming and the swimming element of the Modern Pentathlon. The building can be found in the south-east corner of the Olympic Park, but what's it called?

The Aquatics Centre will play host to 192 different events, and boasts a 50m competition pool, a 25m warm-up pool and a 'dry' warm-up area for divers. The Water Polo competition will be held next to it in the temporary Water Polo Arena. After the Games, the Aquatics Centre will be transformed into a facility for both the local community and elite swimmers. 

This building, in the North of the Olympic Park, will host Track Cycling and Paralympic track Cycling. It's the most sustainable venue in the Olympic Park in terms of design and construction. But what's its name? 

After the Games, a new mountain bike course and road-cycle circuit will be added to create a VeloPark for the local community, sports clubs and elite athletes. There will also be a cafe, bike hire and cycle workshop facilities on site. 

This venue will have a capacity of 80,000 during the Games, and will host the Athletics and Paralympic Athletics events, as well as the Opening and Closing ceremonies. But what is it?

The Olympic stadium. It is located in the south of the Olympic Park, and is the most sustainable stadium ever built.

Read Full Story