Taxi firm boss demands that cyclists pay road tax

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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.

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