Break-the-law minicab boss tells cyclists: “You want to join our gang? Get trained and pay up”

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.

Griffen wrote:

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 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.

  • Geardownflapstwenty

    I’m hardly surprised. Working and riding/driving around west London, Heathrow and the M4 corridor, I am frequently carved up by minicabs and private hire vehicles. Many of these are driven in an aggressive and dangerous manner, and a good proportion of incidents involve Addison Lee vehicles, so much so that I am now logging number plates and times/locations. nnHaving seen the comments from the CEO I will not bother sending them to him for comment, but to the local Plod who may well be interested. Also the local cab office for the council involved.

  • Iain Weir

    Any relation to Nick Griffin?

  • carltonreid

    Great minds think alike: I tweeted something like this yesterday.

  • Levenes Cycle Injury

    It’s nice to know that with the Olympics being likely to introduce more cyclists on our roads, these new cyclists will be safe around Addison Lee cabs…

  • Guy Swarbrick

    Sickening that the man employees 30 cycle couriers in London. Presumably they’re either expendable or highly trained and have found a way to persuade the DVLA to take a payment for VED…

  • Mark Hawkins

    I pay council tax and VAT on cycles and spares, so I have made my contribution.u00a0nnif we compare we tax we pay to the money spent to fix the damaged caused by bikes to roads, it will be a very small number. Now do the same for cars!

  • Mark Hawkins

    I wonder if heu00a0encourages cycle couriers to jump red lights?u00a0

  • Anonymous

    As a trained cyclist with insurance and motorist with insurance and a current road fund license! I take great offence at the words of this aggressive blowhard. nnMr Griffin should be heeding his own words nu201cYou want to join our gang? Get trained and pay upu201d nIf Griffin he wants Addison Lee drivers in the bus lanes then let THEM get trained up and pay!u00a0 How? nLet his drivers do the knowledge and they can use bus lanes to their hearts content!! BUT If that happens Griffin would not have a driver left the day after they pass out this bloke needs to think before opening his big mouth.nnHis drivers are private hire NOT part of the Public transport system so they have NO PLACE in the bus lanes if his mini cabs are allowed then so will all the others have to be! nnAs it is his drivers are already an utter menace on the road aggressive impatient speeders in the most part, as for allowing other mini cabs to use the Bus Lanes given the general standard of driving amongst mini cabs drivers it will push the cyclist deaths total through the roof !nnI hope he is prosecuted with the full force of the law for inciting his employees to break the law this kind of arrogance cannot be allowed to go unpunished.n

  • Munaa
  • Steve

    I would be happy to pay, at the same rate at which efficient cars pay. Hang on a minute that is u00a30.00. nI am also trained as a car driver and HGV driver , motorcyclist and by cycling I cover the whole gamete of road users. How many road users have just taken one test and its away we go. No need for any further training then? I would like to see a test every decade for drivers to make sure they are improving on their skills. I wonder if Addison Lee drivers would be able to pass their test now? nOne of the things that I hate about the attitude on the roads is a lot of peoples arrogance to other road users and their inability to consider a fellow road users needs. This has really deteriorated in the last decade and is definitely worse in the capital. I have people come up the inside of my truck when I am indicating left, but am on the right so I can make it around the corner and they give me verbals, when I have to get out and ask them to move.nMaybe Mr Griffen should get on his bike to see what some of his drivers treat cyclist like, then talk about who needs to go through some trainingu00a0 u00a0 u00a0