Bloody protest at Addison Lee mini cabs by London cyclists - Facebook harnesses rage
12:23 23 April 2012
Up to 3,000 cyclists covered in fake blood could protest later at the London headquarters of mini cab firm Addison Lee – which has called for peace talks with demonstrators.
Bicycle users are furious at remarks by chairman John Philips, who claimed they are “throwing themselves onto (the road)” and that training is urgently required, along with insurance and tax for two-wheel peddlers.
A web campaign on social media site Facebook has been set up to organise a ‘die-in’ at the firm’s head office in William Road, Camden.
Cyclists intend to hand over a letter to the firm outlining their grievance.
“Tonight we want to take our message to Addison Lee; to ask John Griffin to immediately instruct his drivers to not use the bus lanes and publish an apology for his recent comments which only serve to inflame an incorrect and ignorant opinion of cyclists,” wrote Beth Anderson on Facebook page of ‘Addison Lee ‘Die in’’.
Ahead of the protest at 6.45pm this evening spokesman for the firm told London24.com: “We are supportive of people’s right to protest. It’s a matter of hearing what they have to sat and taking things from there.”
Mr Philips’ remarks were condemned as “horrifically offensive” by London Mayoral hopeful, Jenny Jones.
“I will not again use an Addison Lee taxi and am happy to join those calling for a total boycott of their organisation,” she said.
Messages of support from Facebook users unable to attend the protest have been posted on the wall of the group.
“I won’t be there but I wish you all the luck in the world,” wrote Richard Evans.
The uproar following the strong comments by Mr Philips has been followed by a softening of tone by him.
Mr Griffin admitted he thought the tone of his original argument was harsh.
“I accept that the tone of the article was perhaps a little too inflammatory, it was meant to entertain and generate debate, but the online reaction has obscured the main message that there are many inexperienced cyclists that need better training to be safe on London’s busy roads,” he said.
Meanwhile, Transport for London took to court its battle to stop Mr Griffin from paying fines for Addison Lee drivers who drive in bus lanes in London.
A result is expected today (Monday).