Sunday, 24 August 2014

Airport car hire firm labels cyclists a 'hazard' . . .


Airport car hire firm labels cyclists a 'hazard'

Cited at:

A car hire firm at Heathrow Airport is facing criticism for describing cyclists as a “hazard” in its advice for overseas visitors to Britain, adding that they “become most indignant if you hit them”

“Cyclists tend to ignore traffic lights and one-way streets," according to the website 

The website – which is currently offline, but has issued an apology – added that “cyclists tend to ignore traffic lights and one-way streets”.

Twitter users – including Ned Boulting, who fronted ITV4’s coverage of the Tour de France – expressed disbelief at the advice, which was meant to be “light-hearted”, according to the firm.

The advice, aimed at foreign visitors hiring a car at Britain’s busiest airport and found under the headline “Essential things you need to know”, read: “In London, as in other places, cyclists can be a bit of a hazard, since - though they pay no road tax - they still have the same rights as any other vehicle.

"No law requires them to wear reflective clothing, have lights, or give any sort of signal. Furthermore, cyclists tend to ignore traffic lights and one-way streets, so please be careful you don't hit them, cyclists become most indignant if you hit them, and legally, it is always the motorists fault.”

It should be noted that “road tax” was actually abolished in 1937 and replaced by Vehicle Excise Duty.

The website also had some curious advice regarding pedestrians.

“Regardless of whether a pedestrian is crossing the road in the right place, or at some other random point, it is strictly forbidden to hit them,” it said. “Hitting pedestrians, even if they are on a road or any other dangerous place, is considered ‘Dangerous Driving’ and specific laws have been drafted in the UK to discourage, indeed outlaw, the hitting of pedestrians.”

The London Cycling Campaign, which promotes safe cycling, described the comments as "irresponsible". “The comments made by the firm were irresponsible and as a public-facing website, potentially very dangerous to cyclists," it told The Evening Standard. "It also tends to undermine the image abroad of London as a city that encourages cycling and sustainable travel.”

The firm issued an apology on its website, which it suggested was offline due to the “large amount of traffic received from a campaign by Twitter users.”

“We apologise also to all those cyclists and other website visitors who took offence at some light-hearted comments that were on this website about cyclists,” it said. “All these offending remarks have been removed.”

The firm's apology . . .

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