Friday, 27 April 2012

Pot, Kettle, Black.....but we agree!

Addison Lee chairman John Griffin

It was rather ironic to hear that the boss (John Griffin) of Addison Lee (the private hire or mini cab company) stating that: cyclists should expect to get hurt by drivers, if they take to the road.  The reaction of cyclists was typical, and they stated they would be boycotting Addison Lee's offices with a protest.

Cyclists protest outside Addison Lee offices

Addison Lee's chairman has raised a subject, that with all intensive purpose is extremely valid.  However it may have been a little over the top, to imply that cyclists deserve to get hurt, or should expect to be injured on our roads!  It was also an over the top reaction from cyclists, to stand up and react in the manner in which they did.

Really! Was there any need for this protest?

Any debate that has the potential to make our roads safer, should be welcomed with open arms, considering there was 111 cyclists killed in 2011 and 2,660 seriously injured, the whole debate about whether cyclists should be on our roads, sharing the traffic with buses, cars, cabs, lorries, motor cyclists etc is one that needs some attention.

I am astonished at the comments made from a chairman of a large company however, when from experience can say that, when I have been out driving on our roads, and met other traffic, I have found many, many Addison Lee "black cabs" driving extremely erratically!
Some of the drivers of these private hire cars, surely cannot have passed a normal driving test!
I have witnessed these taxi's stopping abruptly, driving dangerously slow, cutting other motorists up and standards way below their so-called professional status dictates.
This is not a dig at cyclists or Addison Lee, but in a round about way, we may end up getting some changes, that are desperately needed to stop the amount of injuries and fatalities on our roads.  So we sort of agree with Addison Lee in some respects.

Another bike rage incident!
Cyclists do not have any formal training, do not hold road insurance or taxation, and anyone can now ride where ever they feel like, thanks to Boris Johnson's bicycle scheme!
I have encountered a huge amount of cyclists, who think it is ok to go through red traffic lights, and I do mean a huge amount.  I have witnessed near misses with cyclists who do not stop at zebra crossings, children on mountain bikes, circling around on our roads, without a care in the world. 

A very large amount of cyclists are also very rude and inconsiderate to other road users.  In fact a large amount of cyclists seem to provoke a lot of road rage, typically when they shout abuse to a driver.  Many of them do not seem to know how to apply their brakes, and give way to large vehicles and consequently annoy many many motorists.
We all have to share the road, and it is quite annoying that cyclists, who do not pay ridiculous amounts of money for insurance, tax, petrol and do not need to have any formal training think they have a right to treat other road users with a lack of respect.

Look you can get a badge as well!

Should it be compulsory?
The sooner that a nationwide cycle test is implemented the better.  Cyclists should also pay for road insurance, as they have on previous occasions caused accidents.  Cycle owners should also be registered and hold a number plate.

These are some recommendations that have been bouncing around for a while, and until someone grasps this subject and starts to do something about it, the more we are going to hear of cyclists being injured or killed.
Of course implementing all of those ideas, will not stop the amount of accidents, but will go some way in reducing them.
Introducing cycle only lanes on a larger scale, would also help in reducing accident numbers.
It is a fore gone conclusion, that with the introduction of more bicycles in our cities and road dimensions remaining the same that the numbers of accidents are only going to rise, so something has to be done now.
Addison Lee, should probably have gone about raising this subject in a more tactful way, but none the less, it is a subject that needs addressing and quick.
In addition, it might be worthwhile if Addison Lee take a look at their own drivers behaviour on our roads, because it isn't just the cyclists that are navigating our roads without due care!

What do you think?
Take part in our poll about cyclists, should they pay insurance?  Should they take a road test?  Tell us what you think in our survey on the right.


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