Leicester bus driver may face disciplinary proceedings after cutting up cyclist (+ video)

Cyclist says he bought helmetcam last month after friend badly injured in incident in London

by Simon_MacMichael   April 25, 2012  

Leicester bus helmetcam still

A bus driver in Leicester may face disciplinary proceedings after management at his company were shown helmet camera footage of him cutting up a cyclist in the city’s Belvoir Street on Sunday, reports This Is Leicestershire. The cyclist revealed that he had bought the camera after a friend was badly injured while riding in London but no action was taken against the motorist involved due to lack of evidence.

The cyclist, who is a student but did not wish to give his name, told the website: "I was heading back home along Belvoir Street at lunchtime and the road was narrow and had speed humps.

"The bus came past me and I was forced to swerve to the left and on to the pavement. It was horrible. I think a lot of buses and other motorists see cyclists as an annoyance,” he added.

The incident occurred at a point where the street narrows due to the presence of a fenced off seating area outside a bar and restaurant, shown in the picture below, and where there appears barely be room for a car to pass through.

The pavement at the place where the incident took place is more or less flush with the adjacent carriageway, although had there been a raised kerb it may have been much more difficult for the cyclist to take evasive action.

The student said that it was the second incident he had experienced this year involving a bus.

"A couple of months ago, I was cycling along De Montfort Street when a bus behind me started honking," he revealed.

"There were cars on both sides of the road so there was no way he could squeeze past me safely.

“Further down the road, he was able to pass me,” he continued.

"After he did, he stopped the bus and got out to shout at me for being in the middle of the road."

He explained that he had bought a helmet camera in March after a friend cycling in London had been badly injured in an incident in which a car was involved, but no action was taken against the motorist concerned due to the absence of witnesses.

"If it happens to me, I want to have some evidence so the police can see what happened," he said.

After watching the video Keith Myatt, communications manager at Arriva Midlands, told This Is Leicestershire that the company would take action against the driver involved.

"We are carrying out a thorough investigation into this matter,” he stated. "The driver will be dealt with appropriately through the company conduct procedure"
 

20 user comments

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In what way does that not fall "far below the minimum acceptable standard expected of a competent and careful driver" and how could it not be "obvious to a competent and careful driver that driving in that way would be dangerous"?

This would be a good one for the local plod to make a point with, IMHO.

posted by steff [81 posts]
25th April 2012 - 13:21

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I may be pedantic here but watching the video, I seem to see several things wrong.

1. The cyclist goes through a NO ENTRY SIGN, even though the road is marked BUSES(and presumably cyclists) ONLY. I notice on street view that this used to have blue signs restricting the type of vehicle allowed.

2. A car overtakes him, this must have come through the no entry signs to enter the bus lane.

3. The bus must have driven through the no entry signs to get there as well

4. after passing the cyclist (with the front of the bus only) the bus appears to be only inches from the kerb, actually covering the double yellow line - that to me appears to be dangerous driving.

5. The narrowing in the road doesn't appear to well marked, but surely a local bus driver should know it is there. AND why would anybody want to sit there to eat or drink it looks very exposed

posted by EK Spinner [25 posts]
25th April 2012 - 13:39

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Disciplinary proceedings? How about legal action?

posted by Coleman [329 posts]
25th April 2012 - 13:40

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Clearly shown on Leicester Council's Cycling Map as one way and part of the National Cycle Network.

The no entry sign (which is on Rutland St, which then becomes Belvoir St) presumably replaced the previous blue signs I imagine because they were being ignored. I suspect there is other signage there that we can't see that says cyclists, buses and taxis can use it.

Not sure about the car - restrictions possibly don't apply on a Sunday, or cars allowed if they need access? Or maybe he shouldn't be there full stop.

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posted by Simon_MacMichael [7892 posts]
25th April 2012 - 14:05

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Legal action absolutely agree, the driver should be up in court - can the courts put a longer ban on his bus licence (PSV?) than on his general car licence. At the very least after a ban he should have to resit the more advanced test.

Additionally whoever approved the road setup and signage here should also be facing proceedings, the no entry sign must be wrong and the narrowing on the right (is this traffic calming or frustrating) appears to have only a straight ahead arrow mounted on it (rectangular sign as per one way street) rather than a larger round keep left arrow as per a pedestrian refuge. None of the poor signage however excuses the bad driving.

posted by EK Spinner [25 posts]
25th April 2012 - 14:11

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Let's just hope the cyclist doesn't get done for riding on the pavement.

posted by wild man [278 posts]
25th April 2012 - 14:37

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Perfectly said!!!

EK Spinner wrote:
Legal action absolutely agree, the driver should be up in court - can the courts put a longer ban on his bus licence (PSV?) than on his general car licence. At the very least after a ban he should have to resit the more advanced test.

Additionally whoever approved the road setup and signage here should also be facing proceedings, the no entry sign must be wrong and the narrowing on the right (is this traffic calming or frustrating) appears to have only a straight ahead arrow mounted on it (rectangular sign as per one way street) rather than a larger round keep left arrow as per a pedestrian refuge. None of the poor signage however excuses the bad driving.

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posted by Angelfishsolo [104 posts]
25th April 2012 - 14:38

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An interesting parallel here, as we all know this is a not uncommon incident with a drivers reflex when he spots an object in front of him being to swerve away from it (if he has mistimed the overtaking of a cyclist then the cyclist gets it).

Isn't this what happened to Flecha on the TDF last year.

posted by EK Spinner [25 posts]
25th April 2012 - 14:59

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So, any suggestions for a decent helmet cam without having a chunky thing like the gopro?

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2924 posts]
25th April 2012 - 15:06

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Leicester is a nightmare when it comes to road "design" and traffic signs. They appear to throw things from a fast moving vehicle and see what sticks..

Bus driver left his brain at home this day. Glad to see that the company is at least taking it seriously, although only time will tell whether they actually do something.

jaunty angle: bikes and communications
http://ragtag.wordpress.com

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posted by ragtag [154 posts]
25th April 2012 - 15:11

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notfastenough wrote:
So, any suggestions for a decent helmet cam without having a chunky thing like the gopro?

I used to use a Veho Muvi Pro for my commute.

posted by pwake [272 posts]
25th April 2012 - 18:36

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I've been impressed with the dog cam bullet wide, which probably sits between the two in terms of cost/capability

posted by Darkerside [58 posts]
25th April 2012 - 18:38

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Another cyclist throws themselves onto the most congested spaces in the world and expects sympathy.

Having undergone extensive training, its highly unlikely this is the bus driver's fault. We're told the cyclist is a 'student', but I'd suggest its more likely to be a granny wobbling about avoiding potholes on her maiden voyage into the abyss.

The fact is, the bus driver probably didn't see him/her.
Clearly, the footage shows he (the driver) is extremely cautious, caring and alert.

Given the above, and the fact the bus company pays extortionate amounts in road tax for their buses to be on the road (whereas the cyclist pays nothing) I can't see what disciplinary action is required.

Just as well the company doesn't say anything about disciplinary action, just that the driver will be 'dealt with appropriately... through company procedure'.

So that's 'Driver of the month' awarded then.

Ticktock

posted by Michael5 [121 posts]
25th April 2012 - 19:52

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All good points Ticktock, that's us all suitably chastised. It's likely the rider wasn't wearing hi viz either, so of course it was all his fault.

OldRidgeback

posted by OldRidgeback [2125 posts]
25th April 2012 - 21:15

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I cycle around leicester everyday and have never had any problems,usually the buses give you lots of space.Leicester is very cycle friendly,lots of cycle networks and they fix the potholes very quickly if you report them.We have very active cycle clubs as well as a critical mass group.I think you will always get one off incidents but i never feel unsafe around the city.I love cycling in leicester and you can ride out to north west leicestershire in about ten mins to ride on the roads used in the 1970 world road race championship.It just gives you a real buzz training on the roads used by the legends of the sport.

bikemonkey

posted by robcrow [43 posts]
25th April 2012 - 21:16

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I got forced off the road by a school bus, when I had my son on a top-tube seat. Not impressed, I shouted at the driver but he drove off.

The Police tracked him down through CCTV, got a witness statement from the car driver who was behind me at the time (who happened to be a neighbour of mine) and hauled him into the station. Turned out he had a completely clean record, so was given a formal warning. After all, he didn't actually cause an accident, I just had to take action to avoid one.

Since then, all the bus-drivers in town have been really corteous to me. Smile

posted by ir_bandito [58 posts]
26th April 2012 - 15:49

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"The driver will be dealt with appropriately through the company conduct procedure" The good old Arriva party line Thinking Arriva bus drivers must be some of the worst drivers in the country. That squeeze is a typical move by the drivers to bully cyclists off the road. The other is to tailgate while reving their engine. I got fed up with their attitudes and bombarded their customer services with e-mails and letters, the only response I received was a dramatic improvement in their road sense. That and my being broadsided which I reported to the police.

Arriva SW Scotland has since been bought over, the new company seems ok but there have been a couple of instances that make me think I may need to resort to spamming again Devil

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posted by giff77 [1036 posts]
26th April 2012 - 16:42

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Ticktock: you forgot to mention that the bus driver did not see him because he had the sunlight in the eyes!!!

posted by zeb [45 posts]
26th April 2012 - 18:53

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In reply to Notfastenough I have a Hyvid 1080p sport (hyvid.com) nice camera lens unit (cable tied to helmet)with a stout cable to the main body which houses the battery (fits easily into back pocket of my jersey) I like it the only downside is it's not good in a low light ie.. evening commute in the winter.

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posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [567 posts]
27th April 2012 - 15:06

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Cheers for the camera suggestions guys.

If I could have, say, 6 bikes, would it stop me drooling over others that I don't have?

posted by notfastenough [2924 posts]
27th April 2012 - 15:22

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