A Gloucestershire company has sacked a lorry driver who was caught on camera last week overtaking a cyclist in Lancashire with just inches to spare in what some cyclists viewing the video interpreted as a “punishment pass.”
Forest of Dean Caravans confirmed to the website Caravan Times that it had terminated the employment of the driver following the incident on the A59 at Samlesbury in Lancashire last Wednesday morning.
The company’s transport manager, Mark Turley, told the website: "The driver is no longer an employee of ours after talking to him. It was a stupid piece of driving and we've been let down by one of our employees.
"We're unhappy with what happened and shocked with what [the driver] did.
"It's never happened before and we've been transporting caravans for over forty years," he added.
"We've dealt with it, and hopefully now we can move on."
The video uploaded to YouTube, which shows the flatbed lorry that was towing a caravan passing the cyclist and cutting in on him, appears below; if you're at work, you may wish to turn the sound down - unsurprisingly, there's some swearing.
On Friday, the cyclist involved, who gave his name as Jon, told road.cc that he did not want the driver to lose his job, so long as the incident was an isolated one.
He told us: “I’d like to see him get points on his licence and severely reprimanded at work.
“I make mistakes, everyone makes mistakes, and we need tolerance on the roads.
“But I would like to see him get prosecuted, because it was dangerous and it was deliberate.”
Jon believed that the close overtaking manoeuvre, accompanied by the driver leaning on his horn, was prompted by the fact he wasn’t riding on a cycle path that ran alongside the road.
In the description of the YouTube video, he said: “There is an unsuitable cycle track at the side of the road which is a shared one with no rights of way and loads of lamp posts and signs in the middle of it! That is probably why he had a problem.”
The incident has been reported to both Lancashire and Gloucestershire police.
Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.