John Griffin, the Addison Lee boss at the centre of a bus lane storm in London, uses his editorial in the latest issue of his corporate magazine to take a pot-shot at cyclists. Griffin recently told his ‘self-employed’ drivers to break the law and use bus lanes in London. Currently only black taxi cabs – and cyclists and since January, motorcyclists – are allowed to use bus lanes. Griffin told his drivers he’d reimburse them for any fines they incurred when breaking the law. Transport for London have reacted strongly to Addison Lee’s moves.
AddLib magazine is handed out to Addison Lee customers and is available in the 4000 vehicles used by the company for 25,000 daily journeys in London.
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 undego 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’.
Road tax doesn’t exist. It’s car tax, a tax on cars and other vehicles, not a tax on roads or a fee to use them. Motorists do not pay directly for the roads. Roads are paid for via general and local taxation. In 1926, Winston Churchill started the process to abolish road tax. It was finally culled in 1937.
The ironically-named iPayRoadTax.com helps spread this message on cycle jerseys (wear one next time your work makes you use an Addy Lee minicab). Car tax is based on amount of CO2 emitted so, if a fee had to be paid, cyclists – who are sometimes branded as ‘tax dodgers’ – would pay the same as ‘tax-dodgers’ such as disabled drivers, police cars, the Royal family, and band A motorists, ie £0. Most cyclists are also car-owners, too, so pay VED.
Many of those who believe road tax exists – such as John Griffin – want cyclists off the roads or, at least registered, but bicycle licensing is an expensive folly.