London Taxi chief in hot water after calling cyclists 'Isis of London'

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A London taxi boss has compared cyclists in London to terrorist organisation Isis and said that some of their actions are horrific. He has since admitted that his original comments were "a bit strong" but that he has received death threats in relation to the issue of cycle lanes in the past.

Speaking on a LBC Radio interview, Steve McNamara said "The loonies out there in the cycling world, they’re almost the sort of Isis of London. Their views and their politics... if you are not with them, and we are with the majority of it, then nothing is too bad for you. These people are unreal. We have had cyber attacks on our websites. They are all over us like a cheap suit on Twitter and social media. We have had physical threats of violence. You name it, we have had it."

Mr McNamara, whose position is the head of the Licensed Taxi Drivers Association(LTDA), made the remarks in relation to the actions of cyclist lobbyists trying to get the cycle superhighway project up and running. Needless to say, his comments were not welcomed by the cycling community and he had to act swiftly to climb down from his original remarks.

Outlining the rational for saying what he did, McNamara said "Perhaps I would accept that was a bit strong. It was a live interview. I have had death threats. They say, 'I hope people you know die screaming of cancer'. I’m convinced that if 99 per cent of cyclists knew some of the stuff we had received after expresing legitimate concerns, they would be horrified."

The current position of the LTDA is to seek a judicial review of the superhighway project which was given the go ahead by the board of Transport for London earlier this week. Mayor Boris Johnson has an ambitious plan to create a dedicated network for cyclists in London that will rival the public transport system and see segregated and safe cycle lanes become the norm for cyclists in the city.

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