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THE CO-CHAIRMAN of an influential safety charity has claimed that black cab drivers are cold-calling him with threats of intimidation as part of a “barrage of abuse” in a war of words against cyclists.

Donnachadh McCarthy of Stop Killing Cyclists said he has suffered online abuse for over a year since he began a campaign to link the high levels of the pollution in the capital with the diesel engines of taxis.

Mr McCarthy alleges that cab drivers have phoned him up in the middle of the night to, “scream abuse down the phone” and deluge him with, “chilling threats” over his online crusade.

Stop-Killing-Cyclists-logoThe cycle safety boss said he had reported scores of abusive messages to Twitter and in a post to Facebook, Mr McCarthy wrote:

Got woken up at 2am by a black cabbie who had got my home phone number and screamed abuse at me down the phone.

“This followed another one who rang me up at 11pm before Christmas and quietly threatened me what he would do to me if I did not shut up talking about the environmental and the health damage caused by overuse of cabs (black/mini/uber) in London.

“Last night’s call followed an evening where I had to report two Tweets to Twitter for more invective personal abuse, in two threads, about cabs in London.”

Mr McCarthy said the campaign of hate began after he grew weary of trying to form an alliance with taxi drivers and instead started a campaign against the high levels of pollution caused by the number of cabs in the centre of London.

He said the capital’s taxi trade had used legal injunctions and petitions to fight “tooth and nail” against, “every single proposal to make London’s streets safer” and claimed they had also tried to delay any proposal by Transport for London to improve the road infrastructure.

Taxi-and-cyclistsMr McCarthy also alleged that hackney drivers had subjected him to homophobic, racist, misogynistic, mental-health related abuse and accused him of having a drink-driving criminal record.

He is now calling on the London Taxi Drivers Association (LTDA) to “crack down” on any members who have been found to have posted online abuse.

Mr McCarthy added: “The Chair of the Corporation of London told me he had even received death threats for banning traffic from the Bank Junction and he said he was quite shaken by it.”

Steve-McNamaraSteve McNamara, general secretary of the LTDA, said:

We condemn in the strongest possible terms any abuse of harassment that Mr McCarthy may have suffered and are sorry for any distress that this has caused.

“Cyclists and taxi drivers need to work together to make London’s roads safer. So, as part of our work with the London Cycling Campaign, the LTDA has signed up to a four-point plan to promote safer driving and safer cycling to our 11,000 drivers across the capital.”

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