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Cyclist nearly wiped out by oncoming bus on the wrong side of the road

A Reading cyclist has uploaded a video showing how he was almost hit by an oncoming bus in Coley Park, despite having right of way and being clearly visible.

In the short film, uploaded to YouTube by the user The Barspeed last month, the bus can be seen approaching on a gloomy evening, overtaking cars to squeeze through the gap despite the oncoming cyclist.

The rider says the bus missed his right handlebar by an inch, which was inexplicable given that he had a bright flashing front light and sounded his air horn.

 

The bus was the number 11 service which runs between Coley Park and Reading town centre.

A spokesman for Reading Buses told Get Reading: "We do our very best at all times to live in harmony with all other road users, especially cyclists.

"Our drivers receive thorough training and ongoing awareness training in various topics, including road risk.

"We have been made aware of this matter from 17 days ago on our bronze 11 route and will investigate it internally.”

Earlier this year we reported another video from Reading, showing helmet cam footage of a dispute between a cyclist and drivers; after a close pass, an extraordinary volume of swearing, a pavement pursuit and a kick at the cyclist’s rear wheel, the driver involved takes a face-first swan dive into the road.

The video, shot in Reading, begins with the familiar scene of a car passing dangerously closely to a cyclist. A short distance later, the uploader, uphillfreewheeler, stops next to the driver and tells him he’d been too close when overtaking. This elicits a quite spectacular barrage of swearing from the driver, the gist of which is that he feels the cyclist should have pulled to the side to let him past. He also has an interesting view on what the Highway Code says about cyclists.

After a short debate about the finer points of road safety, the dispute escalates from swearing to threats before culminating in the driver chasing the cyclist down the pavement and launching a kick at his rear wheel. This causes him to lose balance, after which he stumbles, soars through the air and lands face first in the road.

Still taken from YouTube video A Clown Takes a Pratfall

Still taken from YouTube video A Clown Takes a Pratfall

 

Click here to view the video. Please note, unless you mute it, this video’s not remotely safe for work.

 

After an unpromising start, having to be bribed by her parents to learn to ride without stabilisers, Sarah became rather keener on cycling in her university years, and was eventually persuaded to upgrade to proper road cycling by the prospect of a shiny red Italian bike, which she promptly destroyed by trapping a pair of knickers in the rear derailleur. Sarah writes about about cycling every weekend on road.cc.

36 comments

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Jacobi [172 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

The bus was already coming down the right hand lane when the cyclist turned into that road.

It's been a very long time since I passed my test so I don't know if the Highway Code has changed, but it used to be the case that you gave way to all traffic already on the road you're entering.

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rnick [143 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

What a prat.  How about reversing the scenario - now you're freewheeling down the hill.  Would there be the same indignation & video showing how the driver had not "given way"?  All it takes is a little give & take and life is so much easier for everyone.

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fenix [837 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

Poor cycling there. Why didn't the cyclist give way to the bus as he should have ?

 

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DaveE128 [955 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

I think that the comments are a little unfair. Yes, the cyclist would have done well to have waited at the bottom of the hill. But that doesn't make it ok for the bus driver to squeeze through without slowing down. It was a poor piece of driving and far more reprehensible than the cyclist's cycling.

I have had a much worse incident with a bus swinging onto the wrong side of the road a while back. Reported it to the bus company and received a very reasonable reply from them. I don't know what the final outcome was, but I hope they made the driver re-think his atitude to cyclists.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcZJnChSkLs

Apologies for the fogged lens - visibility was 100%. I've since bought some much better demister pads!

I too had a powerful flashing front light on (Moon Meteor 210) so there was no excuse. (Not that their would be anyway.

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I love my bike [211 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
rnick wrote:

What a prat.  How about reversing the scenario - now you're freewheeling down the hill.  Would there be the same indignation & video showing how the driver had not "given way"?  All it takes is a little give & take and life is so much easier for everyone.

 

Exactly, and from The Highway Code: General rules, techniques and advice for all drivers and riders (103 to 158)

The rules in The Highway Code do not give you the right of way in any circumstance, but they advise you when you should give way to others. Always give way if it can help to avoid an incident.

Many/most people (including me & the road.cc author) assume they know the code, but actually don't.

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Fifth Gear [119 posts] 1 year ago
8 likes

Rule 163 in the Highway Code:

give way to oncoming vehicles before passing parked vehicles or other obstructions on your side of the road

The bus driver is clearly at fault as the parked vehicles were on his side of the road and there was a clear gap for the driver to have used in which to move over. However he failed even to slow and passed dangerously close to the cyclist. It is incredible that many of these comments blame the cyclist and it is very worrying that people are driving who truly believe this driving is acceptable and think it appropriate to blame the vulnerable victim.

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Carton [393 posts] 1 year ago
9 likes

Are the above commentators engaging in some Andy Kauffman-level humour I can't quite grasp? I mean, it has to be sarcasm, right? I saw this at work (no youtube) and from the comments I figured that a gutter-riding cyclist turned into a road just as the bus was passing a car and the driver didn't have time to slow down behind the car. Just a little run of the mill, excusably ill-conceived driving blown up a little by road.cc.

Needless to say this wasn't the case. The bus had ample time and space to slow down back into his lane and wait for the cyclist to pass, he just didn’t care. This wasn’t your typical road-sharing, give-and-take, gentle-nudge or whatever euphemism you want to use for drivers aggressively establishing themselves as not being in allowing-cyclists-to-use-the-lane mood. It was far worse than that. It was a full-on “get the f off the road or I will literally end your life” move.

Truly appalling, unambiguously wrong, callously dangerous driving.

 

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HarrogateSpa [500 posts] 1 year ago
4 likes

Half the article is about Reading's Greatest Hits. I remember that other video. It was discussed enough at the time, and I don't see the need for it to be dragged up from the past, for the spurious reason that something else happened in Reading.

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therealsmallboy [169 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

If it was me, I would have waited at the first parked car- a silver Ford Focus. Then waived the bus through. The driver shouldn't have plowed through like he did, but he probably expected an appreciation for the fact that he was committed on his course at that point and when he pulled out around the parked vehicles, he was clear to do so.

 

I think if the cyclist had have been in a car, he'd have been in the wrong. So it probably shouldn't make a difference being on a bike.

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hawkinspeter [1139 posts] 1 year ago
7 likes

Looks to me like the bus had the time and space to pull in and allow the cyclist to safely pass. When the cyclist turned into the road, the bus was only just visible at the top of the hill so I don't see any problem with the cyclist continuuing. The bus driver should have pulled in to allow the cyclist to safely pass rather than endangering him no matter who had priority. A human life vs getting somewhere 5 seconds faster is not the kind of driving I want to see from "professional" drivers.

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Legin [139 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

It would have been prudent for the cyclist to give way but as can be clearly seen there were two gaps in the parked traffic that the bus could have pulled in to. This was not one continuous line of parked vehicles that the bus was overtaking. I'd stick this as a 75% Bus driver issue; 25% Cyclist issue. 

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jacknorell [988 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes
therealsmallboy wrote:

... [the bus driver] was committed on his course at that point ....

No such thing, that's the sort of attitude which causes wholly-avoidable collisions.

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Grigor [9 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

In so many of these cases I find myself wondering if the physical effort of cycling causes us to be more invested in our course and speed.

What if the pinch point had been over the rise in the hill? Would the cyclist have been more inclined to pause and let the bus through on the course it had started? Sitting watching the video I mentally argue that I'd wait before the first silver car - because that's the well meaning option that keeps traffic flowing. Putting myself half way up a climb and being honest I'll admit that I'd likely press on.

I think as cyclists we have to be honest about the mental state that physical exercise invokes. Not for everyone and not in all situations but it can be a factor. The worst thing is that it plays a part on the open road but also on cycle paths where we are generally the less vulnerable users.

As to what the bus driver should have done? I would have continued on my course but slowed to a near halt when passing the cyclist. Appropriate gaps are generally a function of relative speed. As a cyclist I would have been happy with that.

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antigee [453 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

having read the comments I thought I'd better re watch the video 

the cyclist has just turned into the road?

well I made it 200m or so and around 10seconds cleasrly visible and plenty of time for the bus driver to come up with a more sophisticated plan

there was a clear opportunity for the bus to slow and pull into the long enough gap between the parked cars - as said no such thing as "right of way" but there is an obligation to "give way"

for the doubters swop the cyclist for a motorbike - would have taken half the time from the junction to meet the bus - would the bus have slowed and moved over? I suspect yes 

 

 

 

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Mungecrundle [866 posts] 1 year ago
6 likes

For once I would agree with SuperPython.

1. The bus could easily have pulled into the gap between parked cars to yield to traffic that had priority, i.e the cyclist. Given that the cyclist had already passed a number of the parked cars and that the large gaps where the bus could have pulled in were clearly visible, I think it's a bit unfair to say the cyclist should have stopped and waited as soon as he turned into the road.

2. Even if the line of parked cars had been continuous and the cyclist had made an error in not yielding to the bus that was already overtaking. What sort of person would continue to drive a large PSV directly at a cyclist who apparently was clearly visible? The bus driver doesn't appear to even make an effort to slow down, just barrels through.

Regardless of circumstance, doesn't the duty of any driver / road user to take action to prevent a collision and possible injury trump any regulation in the highway code?

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wycombewheeler [1237 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

on first viewing, i thought that the bus was already passing a long line of parked cars when the cyclist enterred the gap, leaving the bus with only the option of stopping (which would still be the correct response) and let the smaller more manoeuvable cyclist be the one moving as they pass. In this case i think it would be correct for the cyclist to wait, although still not correct for the bus driver to push however many tonnes of metal past the cyclist inn such a samll space

 

But after reading cooments i agree, certainly the first gap was long enough for the bus to pull over into and allw a pass, which it certainly would have done, had the oncoming vehicle been a car or a van. Give vulnerable road users as much space as you would give a car doesn't only apply for overtaking.

Cyclist is going uphill and is on his own side of the road, definitely has priority, bus driver has a might makes right attitude which is dangeous.

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brooksby [2709 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
Jacobi wrote:

The bus was already coming down the right hand lane when the cyclist turned into that road.

It's been a very long time since I passed my test so I don't know if the Highway Code has changed, but it used to be the case that you gave way to all traffic already on the road you're entering.

I think it's phrased as don't put yourself in another's way (so even if it ought to be your priority, all things being equal if the other vehicle was there first then you give way).

(edit) I've now had a chance to actually look at the video. So the cyclist is going uphill, turns right into a further uphill road with cars parked all along his right side. Ahead of him, he can see the bus headlights in his lane coming down the hill.  But he carries on huffing up the hill, playing chicken with the bus. I appreciate it is his priority as the bus has moved over and is in his lane, but the bus was there first. And, yes, there are gaps in the parked cars which the bus might probably have pulled into, but in my experience buses just don't do that (not even for cars, let alone bikes).  I would have waited at the bottom and let the bus through, I'm afraid.

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freespirit1 [258 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
antigee wrote:

for the doubters swop the cyclist for a motorbike - would have taken half the time from the junction to meet the bus - would the bus have slowed and moved over? I suspect yes 

 

 

 

 

In my experience I would have more chance of going up the Thames on a pogo stick than the bus moving over when I am on my motorbike.

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Kapelmuur [401 posts] 1 year ago
1 like
brooksby wrote:
Jacobi wrote:

The bus was already coming down the right hand lane when the cyclist turned into that road.

It's been a very long time since I passed my test so I don't know if the Highway Code has changed, but it used to be the case that you gave way to all traffic already on the road you're entering.

I think it's phrased as don't put yourself in another's way (so even if it ought to be your priority, all things being equal if the other vehicle was there first then you give way).

(edit) I've now had a chance to actually look at the video. So the cyclist is going uphill, turns right into a further uphill road with cars parked all along his right side. Ahead of him, he can see the bus headlights in his lane coming down the hill.  But he carries on huffing up the hill, playing chicken with the bus. I appreciate it is his priority as the bus has moved over and is in his lane, but the bus was there first. And, yes, there are gaps in the parked cars which the bus might probably have pulled into, but in my experience buses just don't do that (not even for cars, let alone bikes).  I would have waited at the bottom and let the bus through, I'm afraid.

You're right about busses not stopping for cars, recently a bus scraped the side of my car while trying to force its way past parked cars.   I could not have avoided it unless I had mounted the pavement and hit a pedestrian.

The bus did not stop, I had to turn around and chase it until it halted to let a passenger off.    The driver denied having hit me despite the evidence of my car's paintwork on the side of his bus.

I was able to get statements off several passengers  to verify my version.

The bus company paid for my repairs, I don't know what happened to the driver.

 

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adamthekiwi [150 posts] 1 year ago
3 likes

I generally believe that cyclists make better drivers - well, at least, I did until I read these comments!

There is no question whatsoever but that the bus was totally in the wrong. I don't buy the argument that the cyclists should have waited - if, as a motorcyclist taking a test, you had waited before the first car, rather than making your way to the gap (where the bus could *easily* have pulled in for a moment), you would have been marked down for not making progress. Even if you ignore that argument, the bus still has a clear legal and moral responsibility to take more care with the cyclist in front of them.

This idiot attitude that cyclists(/everything) should always defer to motor vehicles is partly why the roads are so dangerous at the moment. I am genuinely shocked that so may are prepared to act as apologists for that appalling and dangerous driving.

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Chuck [590 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

Looks like there was plenty of opportunity to avoid passing that close, and the driver still basically chose to do it, which is the key point IMO regardless of whose mythical 'right of way' it was.

It's hard to see exactly from the video but personally I don't think I'd have set off up the road till the bus had passed, because in my experience scenarios like that virtually always come down to 'might is right'.

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flathunt [245 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

A bit disappointed no-one's piped up with "attempted murder" yet, is everyone at the mince-pies already?

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mrmo [2096 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

As no one has mentioned it (that i noticed)

 

Highway code 

 

Rule 223

Buses, coaches and trams. Give priority to these vehicles when you can do so safely, especially when they signal to pull away from stops. Look out for people getting off a bus or tram and crossing the road.

 

Can't watch the video as firewall at work blocks it. 

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brooksby [2709 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
mrmo wrote:

... Buses, coaches and trams. Give priority to these vehicles when you can do so safely, especially when they signal to pull away from stops. ...

Ah, yes. Does anyone else remember the graffiti about letting buses pull out (or am I showing my age...)?

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fenix [837 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

I'm still going with the cyclist carrying on in order to generate more excitement for his camera.

If you look at his other videos  - he even manages to fall off when a car comes a bit close.  

 

If it was me I'd have pulled over - the bus was already on the wrong side of the road and whilst it could have pulled in - who knows what traffic was behind the bike and he could have been stuck there.  As has been mentioned the Highway Code :

 

Buses, coaches and trams. Give priority to these vehicles when you can do so safely, especially when they signal to pull away from stops. Look out for people getting off a bus or tram and crossing the road.

 

The cyclist could have easily given way to the bus.  Given him a cheery wave and got one back. 

 

If you ride like a nob - you do seem to find more nobs on the road. Odd isn't it ?

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mrmo [2096 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:
mrmo wrote:

... Buses, coaches and trams. Give priority to these vehicles when you can do so safely, especially when they signal to pull away from stops. ...

Ah, yes. Does anyone else remember the graffiti about letting buses pull out (or am I showing my age...)?

 

on the side of every? stagecoach Cheltenham bus is a sign stating the highway code rule. 

 

//c1.staticflickr.com/5/4132/4983029596_859cc54bfb_b.jpg)

 

and yes it is a Gloucester depo bus but i couldn't find one for cheltenham

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Nessgazer [7 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

Sorry to say but bus has right of way in this case. Remember to cycle more defensively  and live to see another day. Note cyclist in video has loud horn so may be that indicates an aggressive cyclist.

 

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ironmancole [355 posts] 1 year ago
2 likes

I always believed, perhaps wrongly, that priority was given to those coming uphill based on 'the old days' when a horse and carriage had to keep its speed up?

Not seen the video to be fair but as is often the case the bigger and scarier your mode of transport the more you can ignore the highway code solely reliant on people getting out of your way for fear of being killed.

It's an immoral system equivalent to all the things  society purports to hate such as racism, sexism or any other prejudice or inequality, just that cyclists are expected to put up with it.

As for 'professional driving'? Doing anything all day bears no correlation to actually being good at it  3

 

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levermonkey [682 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

After reviewing the video a number of times I can't help feeling that the cyclist forced a bad situation and put himself in danger. How much easier would it have been to wait short of the first parked car and let the bus through. What would have happened? Both parties acknowledge each other and proceed on their way.

The cyclist keeps riding forward as if to say "It's my side of the road! I have right of way! You will yield!". The bus driver keeps driving as if saying "Keep coming Roadkill, I've got right of weight!" The sounding of the horn is pathetic; it also borders on 'missuse of a warning instrument' as defined under the Road Traffic Act 1968.

Neither party has 'right of way' - it doesn't exist. Both parties need to go away, grow up and stop acting like 3 year olds!

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wknight [52 posts] 1 year ago
0 likes

Sorry but the cyclist is in the wrong here he should have waited. Its careless riding by the cyclist. 

The oncoming vehicle is on the other side of the road passing a number of cars. Yes there is an area where the bus could pull in but the space isn't very big and the amount of space he would give the bike is not much more therefore I can see why the bus driver kept moving forward. 

Just because you think you are in the right, doesn't mean you have to keep moving forward. Better to wait a few seconds than not make your destination. 

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