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Update: Police investigating

A Matthew Clark Ltd HGV driver forced a London cyclist into the kerb and then called her “a fucking idiot” when she said he had been too close. The victim says that police are investigating and while the company said that it too would look into the incident, there has not yet been word of any developments.

Elisabeth Anderson was cycling along London’s Wood Lane shortly after 1pm yesterday when the incident took place.

“I'm just sick to death of this,” she said. “One day one of these people will kill me, I'm pretty sure of it. I don't want to die under an HGV.”

She added:

Anderson has reported the incident to police, while Matthew Clark Ltd got in touch with her via Twitter to ask when and where this incident took place.

“We will be dealing with it immediately,” they assured her, adding: “We're extremely sorry. Thank you for the information. We have passed this and video on to the local depot to investigate.”

In follow-up tweets, the firm said: “Please be assured we take this matter very seriously and are keen to get to the bottom of it, so it can be dealt with.

“Transport have identified the vehicle and are investigating. We're treating this matter seriously & taking action in line with protocol.”

Anderson has since confirmed that police are investigating, but says she has not yet heard anything more from Matthew Clark Ltd.

Over the years road.cc has reported on literally hundreds of close passes and near misses involving badly driven vehicles from every corner of the country – so many, in fact, that we’ve decided to turn the phenomenon into a regular feature on the site. One day hopefully we will run out of close passes and near misses to report on, but until that happy day arrives, Near Miss of the Day will keep rolling on.

If you’ve caught on camera a close encounter of the uncomfortable kind that you’d like to share with the wider cycling community, please send it to us at info [at] road.cc or send us a message via the road.cc Facebook page.

If the video is on YouTube, please send us a link. If not, we can add any footage you supply to our YouTube channel as an unlisted video (so it won't show up on searches).

Please also let us know whether you contacted the police and if so what their reaction was, as well as the reaction of the vehicle operator if it was a bus, lorry or van with company markings etc.

Alex has written for more cricket publications than the rest of the road.cc team combined. Despite the apparent evidence of this picture, he doesn't especially like cake.

26 comments

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brooksby [2507 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

My browser won't play that video so I can't see anything.  But I'm sure the HGV driver is entirely at fault  yes

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the little onion [166 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

Wow - genuinely scary stuff, not least because there is nothing to suggest that the cyclist was doing anything other than good practice. 

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CXR94Di2 [1723 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

He entered into a bus lane far too early causing her to be in a perilous position. Good for her reporting it. Hopefully the driver will be sacked and police prosecution comes his way

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DrG82 [154 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
CXR94Di2 wrote:

He entered into a bus lane far too early causing her to be in a perilous position. Good for her reporting it. Hopefully the driver will be sacked and police prosecution comes his way

It looks like the buslane is only 7-10 am, noy that this justifies the driver being a tool.

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dmack [26 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Often I see some ambiguity in these videos.  But in this case there is no excuse for what the lorry driver did.

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dafyddp [437 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes

Dreadfrul behaviour on the part of the driver, but credit to Matthew Clark Ltd for a professional response. Fingers crossed they take appropriate action.

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brooksby [2507 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
brooksby wrote:

My browser won't play that video so I can't see anything.  But I'm sure the HGV driver is entirely at fault  yes

My browser won't play it!  Can someone give me a precis?

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nbrus [459 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes

A bit too close for comfort, given the size of that vehicle, though the speed was low and there is at least 3 feet between lorry and kerb. Its poor driving and the driver needs to know that its unacceptable. Unfortunately, most of us see this kind of driving every day, given how crowded our roads are.

This is one of these occasions when taking the lane would have been useful to prevent a dangerous overtake. The HGV driver could do with some cycling lessons and will hopefully excercise better judgment in future, but this story has been over-dramaticised just a bit.

Calls for sacking the driver are a little over the top, but a slap on the wrist and some cycling lessons might be in order. Its situations like this that put people off from cycling and who can blame them.

 

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alansmurphy [746 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes

The video doesn't necessarily help with the "take the lane" and we often assume the cyclist knows the route. If I am approaching an area where traffic is likely to back up or I know there's a junction I will often take the lane (not that it stops your highly motivated tosser).

The cyclists position is decent for free flowing traffic and it's the impatience of the huge piece of shit driving the huge piece of metal whilst traffic is slowing that is the problem.

If I want to hate a commute I chant, "must get in front" during the journey and see how many people are really motivated to be 2.5m further forward at the potential cost of my life*

*Don't actually do this, it will depress you!

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StoopidUserName [325 posts] 1 month ago
8 likes

If he'd stayed calm, apologised to the cyclist and went on his way would we be seeing this now? Would he possibly be facing the sack?

In so many of these cases drivers will put someones life in serious danger before heavily abusing the victim for nearly being killed by their own (the drivers) inexcusable actions. 

That's why he should be sacked.

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Jitensha Oni [84 posts] 1 month ago
3 likes
nbrus wrote:

This is one of these occasions when taking the lane would have been useful to prevent a dangerous overtake.
 

wtf? Try watching the whole video.

Here's a screen cap from the start of the video.

http://imgur.com/rLXYRRW

Is that not taking the lane? The lorry crept in front and then started moving in. Even with a more extreme position to the right by the rider, the lorry driver could still pull the same stunt. The rider tries to keep a constant distance from the lorry hence has to move kerb-wards, resulting in the still you show. What are they supposed to do  - get smacked by the side of the lorry? Meh.

 

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nbrus [459 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
Jitensha Oni wrote:
nbrus wrote:

This is one of these occasions when taking the lane would have been useful to prevent a dangerous overtake.
 

wtf? Try watching the whole video.

Here's a screen cap from the start of the video.

http://imgur.com/rLXYRRW

Is that not taking the lane? The lorry crept in front and then started moving in. Even with a more extreme position to the right by the rider, the lorry driver could still pull the same stunt. The rider tries to keep a constant distance from the lorry hence has to move kerb-wards, resulting in the still you show. What are they supposed to do  - get smacked by the side of the lorry? Meh.

You're right, he seems to have forced his way into the left lane possibly due to the left turn coming up. He saw a gap and went for it. The cyclist may have had traffic behind her, which would make it difficult for the lorry to move into the left lane, so he chose the easier option of forcing his way into the gap in front of the cyclist. These kinds of situations can be difficult to predict and dangerous because everyone is in a hurry and will take chances if an opportunity presents itself. Did he try and move left earlier and no one let him in? Or is he an aggressive driver who will take chances to get ahead? He was certainly stressed out given the swearing.

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oldstrath [829 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes
nbrus wrote:
Jitensha Oni wrote:
nbrus wrote:

This is one of these occasions when taking the lane would have been useful to prevent a dangerous overtake.
 

wtf? Try watching the whole video.

Here's a screen cap from the start of the video.

http://imgur.com/rLXYRRW

Is that not taking the lane? The lorry crept in front and then started moving in. Even with a more extreme position to the right by the rider, the lorry driver could still pull the same stunt. The rider tries to keep a constant distance from the lorry hence has to move kerb-wards, resulting in the still you show. What are they supposed to do  - get smacked by the side of the lorry? Meh.

You're right, he seems to have forced his way into the left lane possibly due to the left turn coming up. He saw a gap and went for it. The cyclist may have had traffic behind her, which would make it difficult for the lorry to move into the left lane, so he chose the easier option of forcing his way into the gap in front of the cyclist. These kinds of situations can be difficult to predict and dangerous because everyone is in a hurry and will take chances if an opportunity presents itself. Did he try and move left earlier and no one let him in? Or is he an aggressive driver who will take chances to get ahead? He was certainly stressed out given the swearing.

So a man whom even you accept was stressed and aggressive is in charge of a piece of lethal machinery, and you think he shouldn't be sacked? What does a driver have to do for you to accept that he is too dangerous to be let loose?

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ChrisB200SX [496 posts] 1 month ago
4 likes
nbrus wrote:
Jitensha Oni wrote:
nbrus wrote:

This is one of these occasions when taking the lane would have been useful to prevent a dangerous overtake.
 

wtf? Try watching the whole video.

Here's a screen cap from the start of the video.

http://imgur.com/rLXYRRW

Is that not taking the lane? The lorry crept in front and then started moving in. Even with a more extreme position to the right by the rider, the lorry driver could still pull the same stunt. The rider tries to keep a constant distance from the lorry hence has to move kerb-wards, resulting in the still you show. What are they supposed to do  - get smacked by the side of the lorry? Meh.

You're right, he seems to have forced his way into the left lane possibly due to the left turn coming up. He saw a gap and went for it. The cyclist may have had traffic behind her, which would make it difficult for the lorry to move into the left lane, so he chose the easier option of forcing his way into the gap in front of the cyclist. These kinds of situations can be difficult to predict and dangerous because everyone is in a hurry and will take chances if an opportunity presents itself. Did he try and move left earlier and no one let him in? Or is he an aggressive driver who will take chances to get ahead? He was certainly stressed out given the swearing.

There wasn't a gap the truck could fit into as the traffic ahead was stopped, any potential left turn is irrelevant to his dangerous lane-change. Please stop trying to make excuses for this driving.

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nbrus [459 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
oldstrath wrote:

So a man whom even you accept was stressed and aggressive is in charge of a piece of lethal machinery, and you think he shouldn't be sacked? What does a driver have to do for you to accept that he is too dangerous to be let loose?

That driver is a prick that needs councelling, but he does appear to have executed his maneouver with some degree of caution at low speed and leaving reasonable gap to the kerb (i.e. he showed some regard for the cyclist, despite the stupid maneouver). If he hadn't done this, then I'd agree that he should be sacked. Get him on a bicycle and stick him into rush hour traffic and see how he likes it.

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nbrus [459 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
ChrisB200SX wrote:

There wasn't a gap the truck could fit into as the traffic ahead was stopped, any potential left turn is irrelevant to his dangerous lane-change. Please stop trying to make excuses for this driving.

I'm trying to understand what his thinking was, because that would be useful in trying to spot similar situations when they are setting up, therefore making it easier to take appropriate actions. He made a conscious decision to act as he did, so what was it that caused him to make such a stupid maneouver? I am not excusing his behaviour as it was clearly wrong.

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jaysa [16 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Urgh, that must have been scary for the cyclist.

Moving beyond the usual 'off with his head' remarks, can we try and understand the lorry driver's POV, so we can learn from this?

FWIW, my reading is that: . he realised he needed to turn left at the lights, so needed the left hand lane

. with stationary traffic ahead, he chose to move then rather than end up in lane 2 and gum everything up when the lights changed.
. not sure when he saw the cyclist
. he may well have been bricking it, fearing he might run her over
. lost his cool and swore at her inappropriately (haven't we done that on a bike after a close shave?)

What do ppl think he should have done instead - perhaps halted in lane 2, waited till the cyclist appeared ahead of him and then move to lane 1?

I'm not taking sides, just want to learn ...

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Shades [340 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

Just a still of one of today's close passes (for what it's worth).... at well over 30mph (B3110 near Bath)

 

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alansmurphy [746 posts] 1 month ago
7 likes

I can help with this Jay, he shouldn't have tried to overtake, shouldn't have been in lane 2, shouldn't have put his tonnes of metal in with a chance of hitting a squishy thing, should have waited in lane 2 and indicated, shouldn't have been abusive to a lady when he was being a prick!

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Awavey [327 posts] 1 month ago
5 likes
jaysa wrote:

Urgh, that must have been scary for the cyclist.

Moving beyond the usual 'off with his head' remarks, can we try and understand the lorry driver's POV, so we can learn from this?

FWIW, my reading is that: . he realised he needed to turn left at the lights, so needed the left hand lane

. with stationary traffic ahead, he chose to move then rather than end up in lane 2 and gum everything up when the lights changed.
. not sure when he saw the cyclist
. he may well have been bricking it, fearing he might run her over
. lost his cool and swore at her inappropriately (haven't we done that on a bike after a close shave?)

What do ppl think he should have done instead - perhaps halted in lane 2, waited till the cyclist appeared ahead of him and then move to lane 1?

I'm not taking sides, just want to learn ...

ok Ill bite  1 what would he have done if a say a car had been there instead ? just pulled into it, after all a car isnt going to cause much damage to a truck that size is it. No he wouldnt have would he, he recognises driving into solid objects is bad form and to be avoided, even if he had wanted to turn left which I can see no indication for him wanting or needing to do anyway, he'd have put on his indicator in that outside lane, accepted he hadnt read the road ahead/beside him properly maybe sworn to himself if people werent helping out and waited for a gap or for someone to let him in, he could have even used the guy sitting in his passenger seat whose arm you can see sticking out the left side of the cab, to maybe you know help out be another set of eyes on his left side, and not just sit there getting trucker sunburn.

he pulled into that lane whether he needed to be there or not because it was a cyclist who he figured would just melt away and get out his way, he didnt give a hoot about her safety.

and fwiw most lorries turning left actually wouldnt go kerb side as if you dont know the width of the turn you are making youll likely get stuck or take some street furniture with you

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oldstrath [829 posts] 1 month ago
6 likes
jaysa wrote:

Urgh, that must have been scary for the cyclist.

Moving beyond the usual 'off with his head' remarks, can we try and understand the lorry driver's POV, so we can learn from this?

FWIW, my reading is that: . he realised he needed to turn left at the lights, so needed the left hand lane

. with stationary traffic ahead, he chose to move then rather than end up in lane 2 and gum everything up when the lights changed.
. not sure when he saw the cyclist
. he may well have been bricking it, fearing he might run her over
. lost his cool and swore at her inappropriately (haven't we done that on a bike after a close shave?)

What do ppl think he should have done instead - perhaps halted in lane 2, waited till the cyclist appeared ahead of him and then move to lane 1?

I'm not taking sides, just want to learn ...

Don't want to take his head off, but taking his job off seems appropriate given that he can't or won't drive safely.

Can't think why he (or at least hus mate) wouldn't have seen the cyclisy before he made the manoeuvre. Either they were en route to an urgent appointment at an Opthalmology Clinic, or they couldn't be bothered.

Yes, I've sworn at folk after a close pass. But generally after they've tried to kill me, rather than when I've tried to kill them.

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embattle [70 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

I may not excuse cyclists when they try and commit suicide by lorry at junctions but in this case the lorry driver is a complete prat passing far to close to the cyclist without any real need.

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Colin Peyresourde [1818 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

The truck driver pulls a worrying move indeed. Thankfully he does leave a gap for her or it could have been a lot worse.

My personal thought when driving in traffic is keep moving fast - drivers are less eager to overtake if they know you are moving at the speed of the rest of the traffic.

For me, this means moving right when traffic is slowing, so you overtake slower moving traffic yourself, much like a motor bike would. It's not perfect, but it does reduce the amount of 'tangle' you can get from lorries and buses, and left turning traffic.

Unless there's a lot of on-coming traffic you are always going to find some space on the right, and also won't be taken out by a left hooking car/bus/tipper (you will see a right turning car more easily because the will likely need to stop before pulling their manoeuvre and will also signal with either indicator or brake - preferably both - beforehand).

That's the only alternative I can offer the cyclist to make her feel safer, as there wasn't anything she did wrong. I hate being pinned to the left so avoid it.

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Jem PT [134 posts] 1 month ago
2 likes

I know this road well as it's part of my commute - Wood Lane,  just north of the A40 Westway, coming up to the lights at Du Cane Road. Not a pleasant piece of road at the best of times and many HGVs because of nearby industrial buildings, proximity to A40, etc. 

One of the problems is that as you are heading north, in order to access a quieter alternative you have to do battle with 4 lanes of traffic to turn right just before the traffic lights, with not much of a central refuge.

The sad thing is that the former BBC Worldwide site (to the right of the camera view) is in the process of being redeveloped by Imperial College London with student accomodation etc. This fabulous opportinuty to improve the cycling infrastructure here has been ignored, despite the predictable increase in cyclists that will likely follow the provision of student accommodation.

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madcarew [434 posts] 1 month ago
8 likes
jaysa wrote:

Urgh, that must have been scary for the cyclist.

Moving beyond the usual 'off with his head' remarks, can we try and understand the lorry driver's POV, so we can learn from this?

FWIW, my reading is that: . he realised he needed to turn left at the lights, so needed the left hand lane

. with stationary traffic ahead, he chose to move then rather than end up in lane 2 and gum everything up when the lights changed.
. not sure when he saw the cyclist
. he may well have been bricking it, fearing he might run her over
. lost his cool and swore at her inappropriately (haven't we done that on a bike after a close shave?)

What do ppl think he should have done instead - perhaps halted in lane 2, waited till the cyclist appeared ahead of him and then move to lane 1?

I'm not taking sides, just want to learn ...

"he realised he needed to turn left at the lights, so needed the left hand lane"... He should have wiated behind the cyclist, or having missed the opportunity to get into the left lane for the turn he should have gone on to the next intersection and turned there. 

"with stationary traffic ahead, he chose to move then put another road user's life at risk rather than end up in lane 2 and gum everything up when the lights changed."

It's the idea of "needed to turn left at the lights" taking priority over eery other consideration, including that of the other raod user's life which is the issue here. I've driven lorries in London, and it's a bloody awful job. However, he should never have made this manoeuvre. He simply chose to prioritise his schedule over the life of another road user (like so many others do)

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projectcyclingf... [3 posts] 3 weeks ago
1 like

<p>Lorry driver should face court action for dangerous overtaking or better still, for wanton or furious overtaking&nbsp;and intending to cause&nbsp;alarm or&nbsp;distress. His manoeure&nbsp;was completely unnecessary and would have achieved nothing because&nbsp;he would have seen ahead traffic was slowing&nbsp;and probaly&nbsp;ciem to a&nbsp;stop behind. &nbsp;You can&nbsp;see ahead a&nbsp;black mpv in the bus lane that have its&nbsp;brake lights&nbsp;on and so the driver cannot excuse himself that he didn't&nbsp;see that or the cyclist, perhaps he was using his mobile</p>