I’m sure you are aware of the recent uproar caused by Addison Lee boss John Griffin when he declared that his drivers should break the law by driving in London’s bus lanes (see video here), promising to reimburse any fines that they might incur for doing so, whilst encouraging an attitude of SMIDSY (“sorry mate, I didn’t see you”) as being something that cyclists just have to get used to.
The courts are currently in the process of blocking AdLee cabs from entering bus lanes, but do your part by raising awareness amongst your friends: this article from The Evening Standard might help towards making your blood boil.
If you haven’t read the inflammatory article from Addison Lee’s ‘Chairman’s Column’ of their free Spring 2012 Add Lib magazine, see what you make of this:
“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’.
John Griffin Chairman”
If you want to make a stand, you can sign a petition to have Addison Lee’s license revoked: http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/33116
Now, as a passenger, I cannot deny that AddLee provide a great service, but as a cyclist I have been in many situations where Addison Lee cabs have overtaken only to quickly turn left into me, overtaken without giving sufficient space to ensure my safety, turned left without indicating thus not giving me time to manouevre and all those inconsiderate faults that make cycling dangerous in cities.
The danger is not because I am ‘throwing myself onto one of the most congested spaces in the world’, it’s because these drivers aren’t just being permitted to disregard vulnerable cyclists, they are being encouraged to do so through the ignorant spiels of those who are too comfortable armoured within their vehicles where even if they do happen to get a little blood under their wheels it will only take a drive through the car wash to cleanse their consciences.
Signing the petition isn’t really about killing off Addison Lee, it’s about killing off the disgusting attitude that makes people think that if cyclists die then maybe they should have been more careful.