Addison Lee taxi firm chairman John Griffin has responded to criticism of his ‘anti-cycling’ article published in his company’s customer magazine this week.
Writing on the Huffington Post website, Griffin said: “My foreword in Addison Lee’s magazine Add Lib, has caused quite a storm amongst the Twitter community, and I’m glad it has. In the article, I argue for compulsory training and insurance for London’s bicycle owners and I still stand by my contention.
“About one cyclist is killed on London’s roads every month and countless others horribly injured. If the article causes a debate around cycle safety, and perhaps saves some lives, bring it on.
“Cycling is a deadly serious issue and lives are at stake. There have been huge campaigns recently to encourage cycling, but not so much in terms of improving safety and awareness for cyclists.
“I’m glad that the issue is being debated. If anyone has more ideas for improving safety for cyclists, I would be delighted to hear them. In the meantime, I will continue calling for compulsory training and compulsory insurance for bicycle users.”
Griffin’s original article had stirred up heated debate on the internet as it suggested that cyclists in London willingingly took their lives into their own hands by riding on roads. He said that cyclists should be properly trained and pay for using roads, summing up the article with “It is time for us to say to cyclists ‘You want to join our gang, get trained and pay up’.”
Griffin’s comments come on the back of a wider initiative by him to get his drivers to disobey road rules and use the capital’s bus lanes – currently only available to cyclists, motorcyclists, buses and black cabs. He said that he would pay any fine incurred by his drivers. This move has attracted the attention of Transport for London, who have threatened the company with legal action for using bus lanes.