The road rage meltdown driver filmed in Roehampton, South West London, during a long tirade threatening to kill a cyclist for not using a cycle path has apologised for his "unacceptable" behaviour. Meanwhile, the bike rider involved has told road.cc the motorist clipped him with his wing mirror as he tried to pass.
The driver, identified yesterday as cafe owner and father of two, Jason Wells, apparently misjudged overtaking the cyclist on Priory Road near Richmond Park on 14 March before squeezing in toward the hedge. Wells was yesterday issued with a public order fine of £90.
The victim of road rage attack, who wants to be known only as Michael, told road.cc Wells hit him with the Land Rover Discovery's wing mirror during the close overtake, and says he is disappointed with the £90 fine. He also regrets his own anger during the four minute long expletive-laden argument caught on his bike-mounted camera. Since footage was released on Sunday the video has had almost 120,000 hits.
Wells, who apparently trained as a master butcher, is reported by the Evening Standard as saying: “I would like to apologise for any offence caused. My behaviour was unacceptable and regardless of the situation, I shouldn’t react like that.
“I fully appreciate that cyclists have as much right to the road as any other road users.”
Wells' south west London business, the Brew café chain, with outlets in Clapham, Putney, Wandsworth and Wimbledon, was popular with cyclists, but now faces a boycott from the cycling community.
Michael was cycling to Richmond Park on Saturday 14 March for some exercise when the incident occured. He told road.cc he regrets his own anger during the argument.
"I'm not happy the way I reacted, I was extremely angry and at one point - you can hear in the video - I am so angry I can't even get my words out properly," he said.
"It doesn't show me in a good light."
"The last time [Wells] gets out he's angry because the mirror is bent right in, because he hit me with it. When he squeezed me for space I'm lucky I didn't hit the kerb and come off completely."
"He was seriously angry. I have never seen anyone get that angry and not act on it. He messed up the overtake then he tried to force me off. He feels I have violated his property because I have tapped his car."
Michael praised the police for spending two hours going through his video footage with him, but said the law fails to protect cyclists adequately.
He said: "I was a bit disappointed with the fine, because I'm pretty sure he can afford it."
While Wells is seen yelling at a number of people on bikes during the tirade for not using a shared-use path on the opposite footway, Michael said cyclists would only use it if they were "really tired or a small child".
He said that none of the cyclists heading to Richmond Park via Priory Lane would use that cycle path "because you have to cross a lane of traffic to get onto it, which means you have to hold up a lane of traffic."
He said: "It has happened before at almost the exact same spot. It is pretty much the same issue - the cars get held up by cyclists going up that small incline, they try to overtake and they make a mess of it and push you out of the way."
Although Michael, who wouldn't give any more details for fear of reprisals, was clearly unnerved by the incident, he remains philosophical.
"It is just one of those things - it has happened before, and it's probably going to happen again: someone is going to take displeasure with me, they believe I am impeding their route but as long as I have got a camera, I can document the event."
He said: "The main reason I went to the police was I didn't want it to happen to someone else - if he does it to someone else and they stop riding - I don't want that to happen."
Michael says the cyclist who intervenes in the argument was contacted by police as a witness but didn't come back.
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: "Officers from the Putney Safer Neighbourhood Team investigating an incident which took place on 14 March near Priory Lane, SW5 involving a cyclist and the driver of a vehicle issued a 50-year old man with a public order PND (Police Notice Disorder) fine of £90 on Monday 1 June.
"The fine was issued after the man voluntarily attended a south London police station where he was interviewed in connection with the incident. He was not arrested."