John Griffin the Tory donating boss of Addison Lee (presumably a distant relation of Nick?) is clearly on the crazy end of the motoring lobby spectrum. His comments in hisfirm’s house magazine border on incitement to kill cyclists. I reproduce them in full here:
“Green party candidates and others are up in arms about what they see as the murder of Cyclists on London Roads. There has, as we all know, been a tremendous upsurge in cycling and cycling shops. This summer the roads will be thick with bicycles. 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 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. 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 is time for us to say to cyclists, ‘You want to join our gang, get trained and pay up’.
It is, to be frank, barely worth commenting on this.He is under the total misapprehension that fuel and excise taxes are hypothecated to road spending, which is politically illiterate from someone who is a large political donor and who apparently has met transport ministers to put forward his thoughts about minicabs using cycle lanes. I’ve always rather liked Addison Lee as their drivers – when I have used them for media interviews – have been good, but clearly Griffin is an irresponsible boss who is inciting his drivers to disobey the law on bus lanes and pay little heed to cyclists.
All mayoral candidates must come out strongly against this nonsense and organisations such as the BBC, Sky and other major users of Addison Lee should swiftly end their contracts. Hit Griffin where it hurts!