Addison Lee taxi drivers ‘on bikes’ to heal London cyclist menace storm
15:57 24 April 2012
Drivers at under-fire mini cab firm Addison Lee could take to bicycles under plans being mulled by the firm to repair the damaged relationship with cyclists in London.
A group of pedal power fans staged a ‘die-in’ outside the London headquarters of mini cab firm Addison Lee.
They downed bicycles and dropped onto the tarmac in William Road, Camden, yesterday evening (Monday).
Anger at outspoken comments by cab firm chairman John Griffin sparked the show of feeling.
They objected to an article by Griffin in which he blasted cyclists as a menace to other road users, in urgent need of regulation.
Today (Tuesday) an Addison Lee spokesman set out measures being considered inside the firm to foster better relations with fellow road-users.
As well as the possibility of mini cab drivers experiencing life in London on two wheels, the firm is considering inviting cyclists to climb into the front seat of a cab to sample what life is like for cab drivers.
Julian Sayarer joined the ‘die-in.’ The 26-year-old used to hold the record for cycling fastest around the world – a feat he achieved in 165 days in 2009.
“Griffin’s comments were not constructive. He should withdraw them, but I’m not necessarily expecting him to. John Griffin did back the Cities safe for cycling campaign by the Times.
“The protest showed you cannot express these views. The real test of how much John Griffins means what he said would be to tell his drivers to get out of the bus lanes.
“The cycling community was worried because we see bus lanes as a safe space. They really need to make some bold decisions and stop throwing blue paint.”
A letter had been due to be handed to Griffin by the protesters, but a company spokesman denied receiving it.
Griffin met the group outside the headquarters.
“He asked people to point out what they did not like about the article,” said a spokesman.
“There’s no change with regards to the bus lanes. It is nothing to do with our relationship with cyclists. We just want to compete with black taxis on an even keel.
“The article by Mr Griffin was designed to get a reaction and it has got more of a reaction them use interested but the point that will road users should get prepared by training is a good idea.
“We are going to be talking to cycling groups to build some bridges. We are continually looking at our relationship with cyclists.”