A Bristol cyclist says a Transit van driver attempted to run him over while he cycled through the city centre this week. Eugene Conlon said that when he subsequently confronted the motorist, the man replied: "I'm going to kill one of you bloody cyclists".
The Bristol Post reports that Conlon had been riding along St Thomas Street at around 3.45pm on Thursday when he saw the van approaching from the opposite direction.
He says the driver, a man in his 60s, aimed his vehicle directly at him and that it was only by diving out of the way that he managed to avoid being hit.
He confronted the driver at traffic lights on Bristol Bridge.
"When I asked him what he was thinking, he replied it was a one-way street and that he thought I was going the wrong way. It isn't a one-way street, I have worked on the street for many years.
"He then said 'I'll tell you what, one of these days I'm gonna kill one of you bloody cyclists'. He was driving a very large vehicle which he had used as a weapon."
A police spokesman said: "We’re investigating following a report of a public order offence in St Thomas Street, Bristol, at about 3.40pm on Thursday 10 May. Enquiries are ongoing."
Conlon isn’t optimistic that anything will come of it.
"The police are very busy," he said. "They don't have enough officers to look into each case of wrong-doings on the roads.
"It does feel like it's been getting worse on the roads. I've been cycling for five years and in the last year there does seem like there's been more incidents of cars being less tolerant towards cyclists.
"The roads are meant to be shared. There are vulnerable road users; cyclists, horses and motorcyclists – drivers should appreciate this vulnerability by driving safely with due care and attention at all times – and certainly not driving enraged. "
Last month, London’s former cycling commissioner, Andrew Gilligan, was deliberately knocked off his bike following a road rage incident.
After a black SUV stopped suddenly in front of him, Gilligan said he went to “politely” remonstrate with the driver, who started to get out of the vehicle.
“He looked rather threatening so I thought I should cycle off,” he said. “He revved up and went straight into the back of me.”
A 27-year-old man was arrested.